Participants Hail Second Motor Sport Business Forum
David Richards, Chief Executive, Prodrive, commented: “I often feel that the racing teams and stakeholders in F1 do not spend enough time discussing the business issues that will affect us all. We are always too busy concentrating on the next race and issues which affect us today. The Forum is the perfect place to meet people and talk about the future away from the race track in an environment where you can have constructive discussions. I think this is a very important event to have on an annual basis and I have certainly found it very useful myself.”
The conference and exhibition, which took place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, featured a number of high profile seminars delivered by major industry players. FIA President Max Mosley delivered a fascinating and extremely well-received keynote address, where he talked about the development of new rules in Formula One and the plans to introduce new technology to the championship over the next five years.
This keynote was followed by a captivating question and answer session involving David Richards, Honda Racing F1 CEO Nick Fry, Toyota Motorsport President John Howett and SpykerF1 team principal Colin Kolles.
Nick Fry said: “Honda Racing F1 participated in the 2006 Motor Sport Business Forum and were impressed with the subsequent interest in the team from companies that had attended the conference. We are pleased to be part of the Forum and look forward to developing new business relationships as a result.”
The Formula One team principals were in attendance to offer their thoughts on the FIA-AMD survey, which was presented to the conference by Stephen Di Franco, Corporate Vice President, AMD. He said: “I was impressed by the variety of motor sports series executives attending the Business Forum in Monte Carlo. The FIA/AMD Research provided a foundation for the industry’s top executives to explore paths to improve the viewer experience and participation in Formula One.”
Other conference highlights included presentations from WilliamsF1 Marketing Director Scott Garrett, Eurosport Managing Director Jacques Raynaud and America’s Cup Chief Operating Officer Michel Hodara.
Scott Garrett commented: "I am grateful for the opportunity to address the great and the good of the motor sport industry and feel that the quality of presenters and presentations was high. I'll definitely be back."
Michel Hodara said: “There are many links between America's Cup and Formula One, especially in terms of sponsorship and event management. The Forum was thus a great opportunity to meet all the right people in a short space of time. It was good to share common experiences with so many experts in the sports business industry.”
The conference was chaired expertly throughout by Matt Bishop, Editor-in-Chief, F1 Racing. Bishop said: "The demand for this event has proved that companies are still excited to be involved in Formula One. No doubt, the Forum has now established itself as an important fixture on the Formula One calendar, and an essential event for any executive involved in the sport."
The Forum welcomed an especially strong presence from motor sport’s major sponsors. Global sponsorship directors and sponsorship agencies were there in force, representing some of the biggest names in sponsorship, including Allianz, AMD, Credit Suisse, Diageo, Hilton, Martini, SAP, Shell, TAG Heuer and Total.
“This is a great event for a Formula One sponsor,” said Alistair Rodger, Vice President of Partnerships and Events, Hilton International. “To be able to meet all the right people and gather all the information you might need about all forms of motor sport over such a short period of time is an invaluable service. I'm already looking forward to next year's Forum."
The exhibition area doubled in size from last year and was teeming with exhibitors from the top echelons of motor sport, such as the SpykerF1 team, Circuit de Catalunya, Bahrain International Circuit, FIA Institute, GP2 Series, and the Paul Ricard High-Tech Test Track.
Josep Ramon, commercial director, Circuit de Catalunya, said: “The Motor Sport Business Forum has made a major step forward. With new seminars, new companies and involvement from new motor sport events, it has really been an interesting and profitable two days. I am already looking forward to next year’s Forum and I hope even more companies and organisations will get involved in this exciting event.”
The exhibition area also offered the ideal location for sponsors, luxury brands and service providers to the motor sport industry to promote their businesses, including Breitling, Edmiston & Company, Aviaxess, Sport Business and Haymarket.
Jamie Edmiston, President, Edmiston & Company - Yacht Brokers, commented: “The Forum is a perfect environment for a luxury brand to exhibit. The impressive attendance ensured that we met a huge amount of high-level businesses and individuals involved in the motor sport industry in a short space of time. I’m already looking forward to participating again in 2007.”
Frédéric Aguettant, CEO, Aviaxess Helicopter & Jet, said: “The motor sport industry is evolving at such a pace that this type of event is essential for anyone working in this area. Aviaxess Helicopter & Jet provides exclusive worldwide capabilities for incentive, logistics, media and VIP packaged support for all areas of motor sport and as such the Forum was a great opportunity for Aviaxess to demonstrate its latest dedicated solutions for next season”.
The delegate list doubled in size from last year with representatives from all of the major championships in motor sport, including Formula One, World Rally Championship, MotoGP, Nascar, Champ Car and A1 Grand Prix.
Xander Heijnen, Advisor and Spokesman for the car manufacturer alliance in Formula One, said: “This year's Forum included several interesting presentations and provided ample opportunity for effective discussion. I found it very worthwhile attending and look forward to next year’s event”.
Lin Jarvis said, Managing Director, Yamaha MotoGP, said: “This was the second year I have attended the Forum in Monaco and I found it to be a very useful chance to listen to the opinions and ideas from many of the industry leaders from the four-wheeled motor sports world. It was also a good opportunity to make new contacts."
Delegates were treated to a cocktail reception hosted by Amber Lounge at Le Meridien Beach Plaza hotel. It proved particularly popular as it gave a chance for delegates to talk about the events of the day and to catch up with old friends and colleagues.
Sonia Irvine, owner of Amber Lounge, said: "It was Amber Lounge's second year hosting the Forum's Cocktail Party and it proved even more popular than the first with delegates getting the chance to discuss the day's events in a vibrant social atmosphere. This year we decided to bring the event to Le Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel, home of our exclusive Monaco Grand Prix VIP after-party, which was the perfect destination for delegates to wind down after a busy day at the Forum."
In total, the Forum welcomed 460 participants, from 29 separate countries around the world, including China, Malaysia, Japan, South Africa, USA and Canada, as well as the major European motor sport markets.
Event director Simon Berger said: “This year’s Forum was a fantastic success. Not only did we double the amount of delegates and exhibitors but we were also proud to feature participation from the highest levels of motor sport. This participation demonstrates that in only its second year the Forum has taken a huge step forward and we aim to continue this progress in 2007. The overwhelmingly positive feedback we have already received from this year’s delegates suggests that we are set for another exciting year ahead.”