Wednesday, April 27, 2016

This is the power of National Pride in motorsports (in fact, this works for all sports). This is what is sorely missing in America - both in Formula One and Indycar. We don't have American winners (hero's) to cheer for. The recently available facts below PROVE it.

Formula One Mexican TV Audience Increases 500%
Formula One has announced "some of its highest ever increases in viewership crowned by boosts of as much as 500% for races watched on television in Mexico," according to Christian Sylt for FORBES. 
- If anyone watched the on track sessions last year from Mexico, you would have seen the crowd of crazy whenever their national hero, Sergio Perez, went by. They enjoyed the other drivers, and might have some favorites, bur Perez was THEIR man. That's who then went to watch and thats who they cheered for. No doubt the Perez t-shirt sales were more than the Hamilton sales. For the rest of the year, Perez remained the driver that sparked most interest in Mexico
It drove total reach in Mexico to 3.4 million and was "fueled by the return of its home Grand Prix after a 23-year hiatus."
- This is true - but the home Grand Prix allowed the Mexicans direct access to their home town hero. Something sorely missing in Texas. We enjoy and appreciate other drivers in Formula One, but we will only get passionate about an American driver. We will never become passionate about Grosjean or Gutierrez - but France is passionate about Grosjean and Mexico is passionate about Gutierez - do you get the picture?

The results "vindicate the plan to return to Mexico" which was led by F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, who is sometimes criticized "for taking the series to new markets at the expense of races in countries which have motorsport heritage."
It was one of "a series of gains in key markets which was driven by F1's strategic selection of broadcasters and the accelerating popularity of the sport due to local drivers or races."

The audience in Italy, F1's second-biggest market after Brazil, "rose by nearly 1.5 million to 32.9 million and the Media Report states that it got an early lift from Sebastian Vettel winning for Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix in March."

The F1 audience in the Netherlands "accelerated thanks to the d├ębut of up-and-coming driver Max Verstappen."
Reach almost doubled, up to 3.5 million viewers, even before Verstappen "scored his first podium." National Pride - do you get the picture? Unless America has a significant driver, it will not grow in America and COTA will not be a Grand Prix venue for much longer.

The return of the Austrian Grand Prix "drove an increase in F1 viewing figures on free-to-air broadcaster ORF."
The Media Report states that "reach in Austria increased to 3.7 million viewers, hugely impressive considering the population of 8.5 million." There was however "a dark cloud" in the U.S. where F1 is broadcast on NBC Sports with some races shown on the main NBC channel.
Total season reach "was down 9.5% from 12.6 million in 2014 to 11.4 million which equates to just 4% of the TV population in the U.S." FORBES Can anyone guess WHY? No one cares enough to watch. To get a bigger audience you need to make more people care. America does not care enough about Grosjean or Gutierrez. The Haas team does not evoke American National Pride - is it an American team? or is it an Italian team? based in Italy, run by an Italian, with an Italian technical partner (Ferrari), with an American sponsor paying all the bills? The formula for growing a television audience is simple in America - provide a human drams storyline.