The Effect of Globalisation on Motorsport

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In this report I will investigate the globalisation of motorsport and the effect it has on the teams and the fans.

The greatest effect of how globalisation has positively impacted motorsports can be seen in the modern era, from late 19th century through the 20th and now into the 21st century. Over the last few decades, motorsport has felt the effects of globalisation. Formula One is a business that relies on cars that cost millions to race, in countries from the billionaires playground of Monte Carlo to the likes of the Baku Street Circuit in Azerbaijan. The sport grew during the 1990’s into a multi million-dollar business, with an ever-expanding global television audience.

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Today the team budget is millions of pounds compared to the 1960’s when the Lotus team won the championship on a budget of only £220,000. In Formula One, the driver and teams can create consumption; this is shown by the viewing figures in the UK when Lewis Hamilton is racing at his home circuit. Also the growth in Germany following the succession of Sebastian Vetel. Television attracts great interest in each country that F1 appears, and even more when the drivers are from that country. Formula One has grown immensely in the Nordic country of Finland, thanks to Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas.

Globalisation leads to branding, company logos go onto motorsports merchandise and their adverts. It provides ways for the teams to expose their organisation into the different markets. There are now more fans than ever to sell the merchandise too globally. Today the likes of Lewis Hamilton and !!!!!! are global brands, whose merchandise are likely to occur anywhere in the world, millions of fans around the world will tune in via satellite to watch the grand prix, the possibilities for merchandising are suddenly endless. Teams benefit as races are shown on TV throughout the world, so reach more people in more countries than ever. Sponsors and advertisers are not limited only to the local people and can now explore different markets and media to reach as many motorsport fans as possible. Motorsport is known to be ridiculously expensive, as the fans know merchandise is not cheap to buy. Most races where almost always held in Europe, at famous circuits including, Monte Carlo, Hockenheim, Monza, Spa and Imola. Due to globalisation there are now new circuits in, Malaysia, Bahrain, Austria, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and many others as F1 has proven it be profitable for these countries that host them. Even Russia whom has never had a keen interest in motorsport where eager to welcome the Formula One teams. New circuits excited the fans and drew in large attendances passionate for a taste of Formula One. Countries like Asia are also crucial in expanding motorsport. By 2019 two more new circuits in Vietnam and Florida could also be on the calendar. The Azerbaijani GP is held on the streets of Baku and is another example of globalisation for Formula One, showing how the sport is moving away from the tradition it is used to. For motorsport fans that are able to visit these new circuits they will see new levels of investment, fantastic hospitality from the local people and a passion for motorsport within the local community.

Through globalisation it is now possible to fly almost anywhere in the world to watch a Grand Prix, and also take in the local culture of some of these amazing countries, due to globalasition there are more airports available, with direct flights to anywhere in the world. The culture of motorsport has become a global phenomenon, with fans in every part of the country voraciously consuming everything and anything to do with motorsport. Locally televised races play a huge part in Formula One’s popularity, and the large international following is centred on social media, fans and teams are encouraged to interact with each other on twitter, Instagram has also provided a platform where teams can share their lifestyles on and off the track, giving fans around the world the ability to interact with their favourite drivers in an instant. Hosting a Grand prix can boost a countries economy, also trackside advertising and sponsorship can bring in millions, sponsorship benefits the teams tremendously, with the sponsors achieving maximum brand exposure by advertising on the teams cars, clothing and at the circuit. Without globalisation the major race circuits around the world would not exist and valuable sponsorship would be lost.

Formula One has become a huge global brand over time. With daily TV coverage of all the action of the races, with popularity booming throughout the world, fans will travel thousands of miles and pay whatever it costs to see their heroes. Which makes it great for them and great for the teams. The truth is for the fans Formula One is not a cheap sport at all and in some countries, which have a large divide in the rich, and poor, the F1 pricing can make a race a luxury that most people cannot simply afford. The expensive nature that is F1 is great in places like Monaco, where the fan base is wealthy, however in many of the poorer cities that do not have any home nation loyalty are not going to pay the expensive ticket prices to watch the sport. Lewis Hamilton now has a huge global fan support, and the most popular driver in Formula 1. Ferrari are now the worlds most favorite team with a huge global fan base. This shows that in conclusion Formula one must seek new audiences throughout the world and new circuits in order to keep being successful. As success is down to reaching out to fans in every corner of the world. The new host cities will need to show that the demand for Motorsport and Formula 1 throughout the world is not just in the United Kingdom and Europe but that it a massive global phenomenon.

Motorsport is now involved on every continent. With all counties now having up to date communication systems and transport infrastructure, the difficulties and problems of the past are no longer viable. As motorsport continues to grow in international popularity, Formula One globalisation goals continue to look realistic and attainable on the short term. Even if globalisation does not entail immediate team expansion into any other countries, the cultural expansion alone has cemented F1’s reputation as a model example of globalisation in motorsports. Also due to globalisation the universe of fans has expanded dramatically over the last fifty years, attendances have also grown to unprecedented levels and broadcasting has ensured that motorsports events can be shown anywhere in the world. As the races are in different time zones the armchair fan can enjoy “a live TV experience like they have never seen before” with games starting from 9am (Asia) and running through until 10pm (US).

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