Snow replaces "Drive To Survive" inventor Sean Bratches, who departed in '20 to become Chief Commercial Officer of LIV GolfFormula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix
New F1 Commercial Managing Dir BRANDON SNOW has big shoes to fill as he replaces the exec who invented “Drive To Survive,” and his plans to deliver include doubling commercial revenue and further piercing America’s cultural zeitgeist. Snow took over the role in March of this year, and the last person to hold the title for F1 was SEAN BRATCHES, who departed in ‘20 and is now with LIV Golf. Snow oversees sponsorship, marketing and esports verticals at F1. Speaking to SBJ from his makeshift office at the F1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix earlier this month, Snow said he did not take much time off after leaving his prior role at Activision Blizzard Esports because he and F1 CEO STEFANO DOMENICALI agreed during his hiring process that “with the momentum that F1 had, that I needed to jump in quick.” Snow has been spending a lot of time in London, where F1 is based, and at race tracks, but he is currently still based in N.Y. The series races this weekend at Barcelona.
LOOKING FOR NEW PARTNERS: F1 had several sponsorship arrangements in the works when he took the job on, including completing a new global deal with Salesforce and expanding a pre-existing one with Workday to become a regional partner that has increased assets in Europe/Middle East/Africa. One company that could become a regional partner is Verizon. The company was a sponsor of the Miami race, and in a rare move that seemed to hint at a further potential partnership, F1’s official Twitter account quote-tweeted a Verizon News account the night of the race to inform fans of how much data was used at the race. That is despite the fact that Verizon is not yet an official F1 partner. Snow said that F1 has had regional partners in the past, but added, “What we haven’t done yet is, ‘Could we build a stable of partners around a specific region who have unique benefits for that region?’” Snow said that he has “pretty aggressive goals” he needs to reach over the coming years in terms of sponsorship revenue, “and there’s no reason we shouldn’t achieve them.” F1 doubled its revenue from Q1 last year to Q1 this year, going from $180M to $360M, according to Liberty’s earnings report released earlier this month. Liberty said sponsorship is one of the revenue streams that is up year over year.
ESPORTS, GAMING ARE TARGETS: F1 partnered with the NBA around last year’s U.S. Grand Prix at COTA, something that drew attention at the time as a sign that the racing property was in fact gaining newfound mainstream traction in America. Another major goal for Snow will be to strike more deals like that, including in esports and gaming, where he has a background with Activision, which runs the Call of Duty League and Overwatch League properties. F1 currently has a racing-related esports league, as one would expect, but the property has also done work with the Rocket League cars-playing-soccer video game and could look to do more in that non-racing realm of gaming. He also said F1’s licensing deals at this point are fairly traditional and there’s room to strike more unique partnerships. Snow: “Looking at co-marketing opportunities with culturally relevant businesses, brands and leagues is something we definitely want to do. There’s so much power in putting that cultural moment together with the right partners. At the end of the day, we’ve all got marketing budgets but you get a lot more bang for your buck if you can bring (different brands) together and do it in the right way, so we’re absolutely exploring partnerships like the one we did with the NBA. We want to do more in that space.”
ARE THINGS GETTING EASIER? While he is new to F1, Snow said that it does appear like it is getting easier to sell the property to U.S. CMOs given its rise in relevance here. Snow: “The door is easier to open, but then the conversations immediately go to, ‘How can we build an interesting partnership?’ because we’re a little bit of the new face on the block and we have a unique global technology story.” He said F1’s main marketing pillars right now are innovation, inclusivity and sustainability, and it’s working to craft sponsorship initiatives that align with those goals.