Formula 1 is recognized as a global sport, enjoyed by spectators around the entire world. This is also highlighted by the data on the public audience, collected during the 2021 season, which estimate a total of 1.55 billion users worldwide, as well as the growing shares of Formula 1.
Despite an increasingly universal reputation, however, Formula 1 has struggled to grow in the US market for years. The first giant steps have been taken since Liberty Media Inc, a media company based in America, started its process of relaunching Formula 1 back in 2017.
Since then, the sport has made tremendous progress in terms of growth and interest in this specific market segment. An important role in attracting fans, up to creating an authentic US fanbase, was then played by the Netflix docu-series “Drive to Survive”. Today, thanks to a mixture of these factors, Formula 1 in the USA has reached new heights of popularity: according to an analysis carried out by BetwayInsider, just think that, from 2023, the United States will be the country with the highest number of Grands Prix .
The growth of Formula 1 in the USA
It is a fact that in the United States it has historically been difficult to beat competition from established sports such as basketball, American football and baseball. For this reason, Liberty Media has established an authentic growth plan for F1, with the aim of making it attractive to the public and triggering a constant development process in the United States. The television series “Drive to Survive” is a prime example of this.
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Revealing to the general public what happens behind the scenes of the races has helped fans to establish a real relationship with their favorite teams or drivers. According to some polls, more than half of the viewers of the show said they became passionate about the sport after watching the series. Between 2021 and 2022, the audience for each race rose from around 550,000 to a booming 1.4 million spectators. This increase in popularity was decisive for the stipulation of a new, million-dollar agreement between ESPN and Formula 1, which allowed the category to multiply its income from the stars and stripes market.
Racing events in the USA
Nielsen data speak of 504 million global fans for Formula 1: it is currently the second most followed major sporting event on the planet. The NBA is only a few million supporters away. F1 has therefore officially surpassed attractive sporting events such as the Champions League, NFL, Wimbledon, the English Premier League and Major League Baseball.
However, the top category of open single-seater racing cars is a sport with still ample room for improvement. If the Las Vegas Grand Prix, scheduled for November 2023, were to follow a similar trend to the Miami GP, a new increase in the public could become real. In this way, F1 could constitute an increasingly tempting opportunity for companies looking for commercial partnerships. We must not forget one other key aspect: there is currently no American F1 driver on the grid. The last American to compete at high levels was Scott Speed in 2007. The future presence of an American driver, which is increasingly likely in the next years, could give the races further new life in the USA. With the aim of making one of the biggest sports in the world even bigger.