MotorSport Business Forum: Texas Symposium 2012
Formula One has returned to American soil and not a minute too soon.
To mark its return, KHP and its long-standing partner, the MotorSport Business Forum (MSBF), supported by payment solutions experts Rêv Worldwide, hosted the inaugural Texas Business Symposium in Austin, Texas on behalf of Red McCombs and Bobby Epstein, co-founders and investors of the Circuit of The Americas.
Operating this year within the more intimate format of a Texas Business Symposium, the MSBF sought to educate Texas companies on the commercial benefits of motorsport involvement by engaging with experienced motorsport sponsors and technical partners as well as allowing international motorsport participants to gain a better understanding of the business environment and opportunities that exist in Austin and central Texas.
Hosted at the AT&T Center at the University of Texas in Austin, central Texan business leaders of today and tomorrow were joined by some of Formula One’s leading figures on the eve of the United States Grand Prix. The 200 plus congregation of delegates from both the regional business world and that of Formula One were testament to the joint excitement of the sport’s return to US soil, and in particular to Austin,Texas.
Red McCombs, founder of McCombs Partners and co-founder of Circuit of The Americas, whose name adorns the hosts’ School of Business, opened the inauguaral Texas Business Symposium with a heartfelt speech the day before his dream of a US Grand Prix in Austin became a reality.
This was followed by the CEO of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, Nick Fry’s keynote address that set the tone for the afternoon’s proceedings: Formula One sees Austin as the new, permanent home of the US Grand Prix. This feeling was reciprocated in the ensuing Q&A session which saw an enthusiastic reaction and postive exchange of ideas and views from both the podium and the gathered delegates, further enforcing the positive vibe that has seen Formula One welcomed so enthusiastically by the Austin business community.
Roy Sosa , founder, Chairman and CEO of Rêv Worldwide was clear in his support of this important gathering, stating: ‘Rêv is proud to welcome the MotorSport Business Forum to Austin, Texas. Our partnership represents an opportunity for business innovation that goes beyond technology and the track. The intersection of the entrepreneurial spirit in this city combined with the global reach already represented by this sport opens new business partnerships and product development ideas never seen before.’
Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director, added 'It has been a pleasure and a unique experience to participate in the inaugural Motorsport Business Forum in Austin. The United States are an important market, not only for Formula One, but for all the sponsors and partners involved in the sport. For Pirelli Formula One is a unique global platform to showcase our products and standards of technology. The Forum is certainly a great way to help bring the sport and its philosophy a bit closer to the decision makers of American companies and events like these will help the sport to establish itself in the States and to be successful. Hopefully, this Forum is the first of many in Austin and in other locations around the world.'
The final word of the day was left to Circuit of the Americas’ founding partner, and driving force behind the move to bring Formula One back to the United States, Bobby Epstein.
Katja Heim, CEO of event co-organisers KHP Consulting, was delighted with the reaction of all who attended the symposium, saying: ‘The success of the symposium clearly demonstrates there is an appetite in the US market to explore the many commercial opportunities that F1 has to offer. As with previous Forums KHP has helped to organise, the first and most important step is always bringing the right people together in the right environment.’
The full list of speakers - made up of Team Heads, Stakeholders, Series officials, Sponsors and Commercial Directors – were as follows:
· Red McCombs, Founder of McCombs Partners and co-founder of Circuit of The Americas – Welcome Address
· Nick Fry, CEO Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team – Keynote Address
· Paul Hembery, Head of Pirelli Motorsport
· Roy Sosa , founder, Chairman and CEO of Rêv Worldwide
· Geoff McGrath, Managing Director of McLaren Applied Technologies
· Mehul Kapadia, Vice President of Commercial Alliances and Sponsorships and Tata Communications.
· Graeme Lowdon - President & Sporting Director at Marussia F1 Team
· Pablo de Villota, Formula 1 Sponsorship Manager at Banco Santander
· Bobby Epstein, Co-founder and Chairman at Circuit of The Americas
Dedicated to driving financial services innovation around the world, Rêv Worldwide helps partners effectively access emerging payment markets that enables consumers to make affordable, safe and convenient financial transactions. Rêv’s full range of integrated mobile and prepaid debit solutions – including Rêv-branded, co-branded and affinity payment products – are issued by banks, powered by its multi-language, multi-currency processing platform, and delivered by partners and direct to consumers through retail and online channels. Rêv is headquartered in Austin, Texas and operates in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Learn more at www.revworldwide.com.
The MotorSport Business Forum
The MotorSport Business Forum (MSBF) is the foremost marketing and networking event for motor racing’s global commercial community. The inaugural forum was held in Monte Carlo the same week of FIA’s 2004 end of season awards ceremony and has since been hosted across Europe, the Middle East and North America. The annual conference has established itself as the leading global networking event for motorsports executives, sponsors and stakeholders offering exhibitors an unrivalled platform to network off-track and to market their own brand’s potential in a relaxed, world-class environment. Previous speakers and panelists have included former FIA President Max Mosely, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 CEO Nick Fry, executive chairman of McLaren Automotive and McLaren Group Ron Dennis. The biggest names in sponsorship are also drawn to the MSBF every year with the likes of Accenture, Allianz, At&T, Credit Suisse, Disney, Hilton, ING, Mumm, Panasonic and Shell attending over the last eight years.
KHP is an integrated marketing communications agency that develops and implements strategic solutions to achieve brand objectives and deliver a tangible return on investment. Founded by Katja Heim in 1985, KHP has pioneered many of the ways that people experience sports and Formula 1™ in particular—not only live but across a range of channels, many of which have become widely adopted today. With headquarters in London and offices in New York and Abu Dhabi, KHP’s independent and global ethos has been at the heart of its success over the past 27 years. KHP’s creative and strategic resources are comprised of communications specialists; brand, event and activation managers; commercial and sponsorship advisors; as well as race circuit experts, ensuring that all clients are offered truly integrated solutions.