SBD/Issue 235/Leagues & Governing Bodies

YouTube's Chad Hurley Discusses Involvement With USF1

Hurley Hopes To Bring His Internet,
Technological Experience To F1
YouTube co-Founder & CEO Chad Hurley Sunday night appeared on Speed's "Wind Tunnel With Dave Despain" to discuss becoming the primary investor in US F1. Hurley said becoming involved with the team was an "interesting opportunity" in his efforts to diversify YouTube after its acquisition by Google. Hurley: "It's hard to find opportunities that are not competitive with Google and this was definitely one of them." Hurley noted F1 has a global appeal along with a "potential big upside that it still has within the U.S. market, and from a business perspective, I was looking at it from that angle." Hurley: "But the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new team, to be personally involved with helping build the organization, thinking about the strategy of how we want to connect with our fans, and I thought hopefully I could bring some of my experience in the technology/Internet field to the team to help them." Hurley said he hopes YouTube as part of the involvement has the "ability to create some compelling content for our fans and YouTube is actually a great way to distribute your content on a global basis." Hurley: "Beyond just video, we're going to be looking at ways for people to connect with the drivers and to communicate directly with the team, and I don't think enough businesses or even sports organizations take advantage of that to the full extent that they could." Hurley also said it "would be great" to have a F1 race in the U.S., but "that's not necessarily our goal" ("Wind Tunnel With Dave Despain," Speed, 8/23). Hurley added, “This is something that appealed to me on a business and a personal level. ... They’re a startup, and it’s similar to a lot of situations you see in Silicon Valley. You’ve got a small team of talented individuals trying to break the mold, trying to do something that others think isn’t possible” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/24 issue).

SETTING THE SCHEDULE: The BBC's Sarah Holt reported Suzuka, Japan, will host the '10 F1 Japanese Grand Prix "after reaching an agreement" with F1 Management Chair Bernie Ecclestone. Meanwhile, a separate deal ensured that the European Grand Prix will take place in Valencia, Spain, "for the next five years" after the Valencian government stepped in to fund the race at a "reduced cost with organisers Valmor Sports." Valmor Sports also "requested that the race be moved from August to a date in October." Meanwhile, Holt noted Canada is "likely to rejoin the F1 calendar in 2010, which is expected to be published in October" (BBC.co.uk, 8/23).

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