The United States is currently witnessing a rapid increase in the popularity of Formula 1. While the British and French Grand Prix both exceeded the one million mark of average viewership, the United States also is setting records in almost every season. With an average of 946,000 viewers per race, the current season has experienced a significant 56% increase in viewership from the last season and a 41% upsurge from 2019. There are several driving factors behind this surprise boost of F1 in the US.
The Netflix Factor
According to John Suchenski, the director of programming and acquisitions of ESPN, the Netflix documentary series named Formula 1: Drive to Survive has certainly helped to create a larger fan base of Formula 1 in the US. The series has brought along more casual fans, who probably were not even dedicated Formula 1 fans. This also has made the US a priority, bringing more opportunities of investing in promotional weight. Using this opportunity, more grassroots level exposure is being benefited by the current ESPN and Formula 1 partnership.
Partnership With Sky
According to Suchenski, in the world of sports broadcasting, the channel Sky does the best job. So, working continuously with their partners in Sky and taking some of Sky’s shoulder programming as well, has helped ESPN to expand its target audience base and to strengthen the dedicated viewership. ESPN has taken Sky’s lead-up on Sunday, which has helped the audience to get under the tent earlier and creating a build-up for the upcoming race. ESPN is also broadcasting Sky’s post-race show digitally, which is helping the fans to continue their F1 experience, even after ESPN or ESPN 2 goes off-air. ESPN has been broadcasting the world championship since 2018, which is also a facilitating factor. The continuity of these F1 contents has bred a familiarity for the viewers, making the sports more easily accessible and ensuring dedicated viewership for a longer span.
The brand Chrysler was almost on the verge of disappearing from existence but it seems like it’s not the end for the brand yet. On the outskirts of Amsterdam, an event was held, where they discussed the product strategy for Stellantis’ future, a 14-brand empire. The CEO of the company Carlos Tavares spoke at the event saying that Chrysler was former FCA’s emotional pillar. Tavares further said that it was imperative that the brand was given a future and the chance to bounce back. He completed the note by saying that the Chrysler cars looked really gorgeous and that the brand would be re-launched.
Entry Into Electric
The initial models of this brand are expected to be a compact electric crossover titled Airflow. It is said to be competing with brands like Tesla Model Y, Volvo XC40 Recharge, and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Stellantis has named the strategic plan for the company as Dare Forward 2030. Tavares said that Chrysler will go electric by the year 2028. However, the brand’s overall target for America, with respect to all its brands, is to receive 50% of its total sales from light-duty trucks and passenger vehicles by 2030.
Fiat Not a Priority Right Now
There are no plans yet for reviving Fiat in the U.S. yet. Tavares has mentioned that they are yet to devise a strategy that will help the brand get their sales up. There are ideas about how it can be done but they are yet to be formalized. The brand currently only sells its 500X crossover.
In regards to the brand strategy in the U.S., Tavares mentioned that they intend to make investments in their American brands. However, they do not intend to bring in more brands right now to this country. They are happy with what they currently have.