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Bloomberg takes up the F1 conference wheel

NEWS STORY
20/02/2011

Global financial news service Bloomberg is accelerating into F1 by hosting the first ever conference about the business of the sport to be held in London's City financial district.

The conference is named F1 and the City and will also be produced by the publisher SportBusiness. It will take place on 6 April in Bloomberg's prestigious headquarters and aims to explain to City institutions how the business of F1 operates. It is well timed with more links now between F1 and financial institutions than ever before.

F1's commercial rights holder is majority owned by a private equity firm, banks fund and sponsor teams and one, Williams, is planning a stock market flotation. The Bloomberg conference will take place in the most appropriate location to discuss the business of F1 - not at a race but in London's financial district where the money for the biggest deals in the sport ultimately flows from. Given that we are still in the throes of an economic downturn, now is definitely a good time for F1 to show itself off to the sport's ultimate paymasters.

A high level City audience will come through Bloomberg's involvement and the conference will showcase what promises to be a glittering array of speakers from F1 races, sponsors and teams. Their identity should be revealed soon and the speaker line-up, along with the conference programme, is being arranged by Money Sport Media, the company which publishes F1's industry monitor Formula Money. Money Sport Media's Chris Sylt also owns a third of the Formula 100 F1 sponsors' organisation and is Pitpass' business editor so readers will be amongst the first to get news from the event.

Following each of the speeches, delegates at the conference will get a chance to quiz the speakers and at the end of the event they will take part in a roundtable discussion about the business issues facing F1. There will also be the obligatory networking drinks, so delegates will be able to schmooze with the speakers, and it all comes at a cost of £295.

It isn't for your typical F1 fan but the opportunity to get the latest insight from F1's movers and shakers could save deal-makers a lot more money than the entrance price. They will also leave armed with Formula Money's latest sponsorship return on investment data and, believe it or not, the £295 fee is actually far lower than that charged by other F1 conferences which have taken place.

In recent years F1's conference landscape has been dominated by the Motor Sport Business Forum event which was held at least once a year. It was founded by expert conference organiser Simon Berger who steered it to becoming a powerhouse of an event which attracted speeches from F1's top management talent including Ron Dennis and Gerard Lopez.

In November last year the Motor Sport Business Forum was sold to publishing company Haymarket which planned to host a conference on 5 to 6 April this year in Kuala Lumpur. However, details of this conference were recently removed from on the Motor Sport Business Forum's website and it has been well over a year since the previous event took place.

It looks like Bloomberg's conference will be the first to get off the grid and apparently it could be the first in a series of F1 business events hosted during the year. Given F1's ever-changing business landscape this could make a lot of sense.

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