Archive for Socialmedia

Formula 1 and Social Media Revisited

Posted in F1, Social Media, sport with tags , , , , on 20/12/2009 by mfcx4tm2

Earlier on in the 2009 season i wrote about the increasing use of social media in Formula 1. This issue has exploded since then with more and more people in increasingly important circles discussing the way the sport interacts with its fans in the age of the internet.

One such luminary is Luca di Montezemolo, boss of Ferrari, who has been amongst the people who have called for F1 to appeal more to the internet generation and adapt to the needs of fans who are chomping at the bit to get there hands on more and more info. This is something that has been done brilliantly in other industries, with the world of music offering a fantastic example of how to engage fans on a one to one basis, whether it is speaking to them on Twitter or asking them to make remixes or videos for their songs. This sort of attention to detail is something that Formula 1 has so far failed to offer, though there are glimpses on the horizon that we may be heading towards an ever more fan-friendly F1.

As i mentioned in the previous post, the number of F1 personalities using Twitter is ever increasing (Keith Collantine at F1 Fanatic has a great list if you’re interested) and this can only be beneficial for fans trying to get a more in depth view of the f1 paddock and all its goings on. Even World Champion Jenson Button is on there posting photos of his everyday activities, which is exactly what us fans want. The next step is getting them interacting, though whether we’ll ever get Jenson to take the time out to tell us some more about the glamourous photo he’s just posted is maybe a little optimistic. However, the trend of drivers and other F1 personalities giving an insight into their world certainly needs to continue to keep the ever more demanding f1 fan happy.

Of course, we need to remember that Twitter is just one element of the internet world as well, and i leaned toward the potential that has yet to be unleashed in F1 with YouTube in my previous post. There’s also Facebook which provides a lot of options for teams to bring interesting, insightful content to the info-hungry fan.  McLaren currently lead the way in employing someone (@TheFifthDriver) with the sole job of giving the fans a pathway into the team, and i’m sure that the fanbase of McLaren has become wider and stronger than ever before since this introduction. Who would you rather support, a team that gives you photos and daily insight into the activities of the team and drivers or a team who you only get to see when they murmer some PR spiel in a post race press conference?

It’s ironic that one of the most technologically advanced sports in the world has yet to find the best way to exploit one of the most significant technological developments of recent times. However, the fact that people of Montezemolo’s stature are discussing the issue is a good sign and one that suggests that being a fan of Formula 1 is only going to get better.


Formula 1 and Social Media

Posted in F1, Social Media, sport with tags , , on 09/07/2009 by mfcx4tm2

The recent rumours that YouTube may be sponsors of the USF1 team next year could make for a very interesting insight into the Formula 1 world. The paddock is a very exclusive place and for the layman it is one way out of the realms of imagination. Being one of the chosen few who get to go behind the scenes is an honour indeed The F1 Paddockand something that 99.9% of Formula 1 fans will never experience. Formula 1 is on a different level to other sports, as simply getting access to the live spectacle is a challenge due to the cost and demand related to one of the world’s most glamourous playgrounds. In other sports, such as football or rugby, it is certainly only a privileged person who gets to go behind the scenes, though getting tickets to see a game from the stands is a relatively easy process. This is not the case in Formula 1, with TV coverage taking the majority of people as close to the action as they will ever get.

So the explosion of social media has added a new exciting element to the sport as we can now gain formally unheard of access using platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Many of the F1 teams use these sites to interact with their fans, providing behind the scenes material to paint a much clearer picture of  how the sport works both at the track and back at the factory. McLaren is one that dos this particularly well, with regular Twitter updates from ‘The Fifth Driver’ telling fans what the team and the drivers have been doing and posting photos of Lewis and Heikki in their free time. This sort of access, in my own opinion as an F1 fan, is fantastic and undoubtedly builds the relationship between the team and its fans, forming stronger bonds and creating advocates rather than just fans.

The BBC are also exploiting these platforms with presenter Jake Humphrey amongst a number of the team on Twitter as well as writing their own blog . These Twitter accounts allow fans to put themselves in the writer’s shoes and experience the action from a first person point of view in a way that they have never been able to do previously. The blogs are one step back from this, not giving a real time account of events at the track but offering a much more in depth retrospective view of the business taking place behind Formula 1’s closed doors. I love discovering new things every weekend through these mediums, things which would never have been accessible before, and it has certainly enhanced my experience of the sport I love.

So the news that USF1 have supposedly brought YouTube on board as a major sponsor next year was music to my ears. The opportunity for social media content from this partnership goes as far as the eye can see and gives the team a great platform to build a very strong and wide reaching fan base. Of course, it is all just conjecture at the moment but more often than not where there’s smoke there’s fire. I for one hope that the rumours are true and will be paying close attention to any developments. Since Damon Hill’s championship winning days I haven’t really had any affiliation with a particular driver or team, but this may be about to change if Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor make this shrewd move bear fruit and provide their fans with the most complete access to a Formula 1 team we’ve ever seen.