How brand India helped brand F1


Shobha De has a point when she said that F1 also needed India! Quite a statement and a sweeping one. A statement like this might not go down well with most of us who have loathed India of the infamous Commonwealth fiasco; who have branded F1 as an ‘exclusive’ sport; who blame authorities for not promoting other sports as much. We have become so good at whipping apart our own credit that we fail to understand that Bernie Eccliston, CEO Formula One management will not do charity. He is a hardcore businessman and can see moolah in India.      

No doubt Formula One is an elite sport and is expensive just like photography is an expensive hobby and hosting such International events will elevate Indian brand. David Aaker , Professor emeritus at Haas Business School, University of California, Berkely , also supports  this theory that hosting  global events  like G20 ,Commonwealth Games and Formula One works beyond doubt in nation branding building . I agree with this totally. But keeping in view some great global acquisitions by Indian companies, IT leadership, huge infrastructure investments India is no doubt modeling the frameworks of world economy. Certainly Bernie Eccliston saw great opportunity in India amidst the economic slowdown in Europe. In 2007, there were several changes brought to the game like making the races shorter as reported by BBC U. Formula One chief’s wanted some excitement so they made races shorter. Adding to the fury was Michael Schumacher’s announcement s on his retirement; F1 GP ought to change something and that was the attitude towards countries like India, Malaysia and Singapore. At SingTel Singapore Grand Prix in 2010, Singapore authorities leveraged the high adrenaline atmosphere by starting the night race. As a result, millions of footfalls and a revived tourism opportunity. But more than that F1 got its night race exclusivity and an offer from Thailand to host F1.Surprisingly it also caught excitement back and with around 110,000 tickets fully sold out.* There got to be a reason why last year Formula One chose Singapore and this year India. Bernie Eccliston could not help exclaim “Great Job” when he saw Buddh International Circuit set up in Noida, North of India. According to Shobha De on her latest article Buddh International Circuit with 16 corners, 60 laps and astronomical 315KPH is already quite a rockstar.

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