Business of Speed
The Money Behind the Motorsports Industry
By: Tim Frost
Date: October 2017

This month we will take an international perspective on the business of motorsports.


Each summer in the south of England, Lord March plays host to a variety of motoring events. The Goodwood Estate is spread over 12,000 acres the property has multiple venues to accommodate every racing passion. These include a motorsport circuit road course, horseracing, and aerodome. The most famous events on the circuit are the Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival.

The Festival of Speed attracts approximately 300,000 spectators over a three – day run each July. The iconic event is the Hillclimb – a 1.16 mile course on the Estate’s driveway. Narrow, bumpy and slippery challenges to world’s most unique vehicles. Formula one to drift to rally to supercars – they are all there.

The history of racing is highlighted by the romance and glamour it brings to our memory. Vintage cars on track with drivers and fans in period dress are the theme of the Goodwood Rival. Whether it is British “halcyon” or Darlington “throwback” – everyone loves it and it works.

Renowned brands are sponsoring at Goodwood. The prestigious nature of a highly desirable audience in a unique setting provides special activation opportunities.

Goodwood has become a “bucket” list for many including world famous drivers, team owners, car collectors and motorsports related entities.

Black Book Motorsport Forum:

The motorsports industry continues to evolve – whether by choice or necessity. Gatherings away from the track allow entities to exchange ideas and develop relationships.

The Black Book Motorsport Forum in London recently hosted key players from the world’s leading forms of racing – manufacturers, sponsors, agencies, rights holders, and series.

Topics from engaging with sponsors, different channels for fan interaction, and best practices were on the agenda.

An in-depth interview with Liberty Media’s head of digital and new business provided a look into Formula One’s strategy for growing revenue globally. They are looking long term with a world wide perspective, which can be a balancing act with short term nature of investors in a public company.

Additional sessions stressed the importance of an OTT media plan that uses various social platforms as critical. There was discussion over the growth of niche motorsports serving as a showcase for emerging technology.

The bottom line is that industry leaders must continue to develop procedures and policies that match the skills and knowledge that engineers use to maximize speed on the track.