F1 Signs Lagarère Deal to Push Interest in China

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The future of the Chinese Grand Prix has received a boost after Formula 1 signed a partnership agreement with marketing company Lagardère Sport and Entertainment.

Formula 1 Owners’ Liberty Media aim of the deal is to increase their profile and capitalise on the growing interest in F1 within China by improving the entertainment factor at the Grand Prix to help grow an audience.

Lagardere were founded in 1992 and have already made a contribution in China, playing an important role in promoting Asian Football Confederation events within the country.

F1’s managing director of commercial operation, Sean Bratches, was keen on making the deal happen, believing the profitable Asian market is key for the future of the sport.

In a statement Bratches said: “We are keen to build on this, developing our brand through unique live entertainment experiences designed to get fans closer to the action”.

“We’re delighted to be working with Lagardère Sports, whose knowledge of the market in China will help establish long-term benefits for all our partners and brands that we work with.”

Lagardère’s Chief Executive, Andrew Georgiou added: Through this new partnership together we will work with Formula 1 to develop premium local content for the Chinese market, in a way that the sport deeply engages with local fans and becomes part of the Chinese sporting culture and fabric.”

“We’re delighted the Formula 1 management team has trusted us to use our global insights and network, combined with our local expertise and knowledge within China, to help develop their brand, fan base and appeal to media platforms and sponsors. It’s a very exciting time to be supporting Formula One.”

The deal comes at the right time for the future of the Chinese Grand Prix. The race, as well as the Singapore Grand Prix, was included in the 2018 21 race calendar but were listed as subject to the commercial rights holder, but Liberty Media expected the race to go ahead next year.

F1’s Chase Carey commented last month at the FIA Sport Conference: “Our expectation and goal are to have a race. We’re engaging with them.”

“The reason is the contracts were up this year, so we’re negotiating new agreements. Those agreements aren’t completed. We’re having good discussions and our expectation is to have it, but obviously, we don’t have a signed agreement, so it’s just a reality of life with a lead time that still exists.”