Liberty Media might not want to turn Formula One into a “global NASCAR,” but it has no problem looking to the United States’ most popular series for ideas on how to improve F1.
F1 has joined forces with merchandise experts Fanatics ahead of the 2018 season to implement souvenir “superstores” at each race, according to Motorsport.com. The trackside tent will carry officially licensed F1, driver, team and Grand Prix products.
Fanatics introduced the “superstore” model to NASCAR in 2015, but it proved unpopular among fans, forcing the sport to revert to the old souvenir haulers in the middle of the 2017 season. Despite that fact, F1s head of commercial operations, Sean Bratches, insists the store will be a better fit for the single-seater championship.
“Next year we will have a massive tent experience,” Bratches told Motorsport.com “You will be able to pick items up off a rack and see if it fits, then go into a queue with 15-20 registers and if you want to send it home, our partner DHL will be there to take care of it for you.”
F1 reportedly is basing its goals for the merchandise tents on a breakdown of NASCAR’s sales figures. The stock-car racing series’ products reportedly account for 5 percent of its sales, race-specific memorabilia comprises 30 percent and driver and team merchandise makes up 65 percent.
“I think with our brand we can probably fight above those percentages, but team and driver merchandise will still be predominant,” Bratches said. “We want to give them a better platform to market their brands and their merchandise and generate incremental revenues.”
The new trackside shop is the latest in a long list of changes Liberty has made to F1 aimed at improving fan engagement — such as its less-restrictive social media guidelines — since purchasing the sport ahead of 2017.
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