Thursday, January 26, 2017
How do you build an audience in America for a sport loved the world over but not in the US. No, we are not writing about soccer but Formula 1 racing. So far, the only successful motorsport circuit has been NASCAR. There are single races that rise to national attention -- e.g., the Indianapolis 500 -- but sustained awareness for any other auto race is lacking. This makes for a tough PR challenge for the owners of the Formula 1 franchise. So far, there is one circuit in Austin, TX, but they want to expand it to several US cities. That will take time, millions in preparation and hundreds of permits to put the open-wheel machines on city streets. It will also require cultivation of a fan base to ensure turnout and a healthy TV audience. The prospect for that to happen is not bright. Soccer is still not a mainstream sport in the US after decades of trying. The rarified world of Formula 1 has strikes against it.