The Business of Motorsport vs. the Business of Business

Published: 2nd July

With our upcoming event “The Business of Winning” taking place on the 14th July, we will learn about the world of the motorsport industry, and what life is really like in the fast lane, everything from competing in motorsport to the importance of talent for success.

It’s fair to say that there are many questions around the world of motorsport, things like “What is it?” “How does it work?” “How do you earn money?”  These are all legitimate questions for anyone on the spectator end of the sport, and for those who have never been involved at all, the business side of sport is rarely seen.  Here we hope to give you a better insight.

The Business of Formula 1, Financial Times Report

In the recent FT Report “The Business of Formula 1”, FT writers Roger Blitz and James Allen reported that ‘these are difficult days’ for the industry.

In spite of the sport’s global reach and glamour, the big question for many is, where is the money coming from?

Big TV rights deals secured in the past 12 months by the English Premier League — £5bn over three years in the UK market alone — and the US National Basketball Association ($24bn over nine years) make sports such as F1 tremble. If football and basketball are picking up bigger slices of the TV rights pie, where does it leave the rest? F1 receives some $1.5bn a year — not a bad showing. But growth is hard to envisage. F1 appears to be in managed decline, on the basis of most indicators such as TV viewing figures, race ticket sales and number of participants, while TV rights fees are fairly static. Sponsorship deals trickle, rather than flow

Australian auto industry legend, John Crennan says that the motorsports business is at least twice as hard, tough and demanding as conducting a regular or non-sporting enterprise. 


John says that Motor sport is the toughest of all the elite sports, be it football, cricket, golf or tennis, because it involves the team, the athlete and the complex mechanical object.  The mix of these three elements to extract peak competitive performance has a massive multiplying effect on the products/game that ultimately plays out in the sports arena.

Likewise, the talents of the people required in a race team to ‘create’ the machinery verses other sports, is far more complex and demanding.

In addition, the scoreboard microscope in motorsport creates far greater stakeholder pressure for the executives in charge of the club, team, coaches and the athletes than it does for the CEO, the finance director and other key executives of a private or publicly-listed regular business.

‘Scoreboard pressure’ can be deemed as the number one reason why some would argue that sport business is much tougher and demanding than regular corporate business.


Sponsorship is a sports specific platform for marketing and generating growth.  AJR Motorsport say that sponsorship pays their bills, so that they can race eat and sleep, and they spend the time working for the sponsoring companies, becoming a brand ambassador for them and marketing their products and services.

Some would say that the buzz, adrenaline and fast paced nature of the motorsport industry can be compared to no other world of business...  We look forward to delving deeper at our event on the 14th July.  Make sure you register now to avoid disappointment.

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