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SBD Global/April 23, 2013/Events and Attractions

Electric Car Racing Series Formula E Announces Fall '14 Race In L.A.

Formula E, the electric-powered racing series, announced on Monday that its L.A. race will be held in the fall of '14. The series, which will debut next year, is covering the cost of the race and will work with the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach to put up fencing, walls and infrastructure for the event. The series is looking at two potential courses for the race and will finalize the course and date of the race by December, Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said. He added that the series is in talks with “a couple of groups” interested in partnering to promote the event, but added that the race would be underwritten by the series. He said, “There is no sanction fee for the city. What we are for the city, is the possibility to race in an iconic place. That’s what the sponsors are looking for. We (will) come in and out quickly and try to minimize disruption for the city.”

SCHEDULE FILLING OUT: The series has announced eight of 10 cities where it plans to race in '14. Those include: London, Rome, Miami, L.A., Beijing, Putrajaya (Malaysia), Buenos Aires and Rio de Janiero. It will announce another city in Asia next month and a final city before the end of the year. Agag said, “We have over 50 cities that want to host a race. Many are attractive. But since we are unproven, we want to be very careful. We want to go to established cities. It’s important for us to give the right message, that the electric car is a solution for the cities.” The series hopes to add two races per year until it runs a total of 20 races in a calendar year. It hasn’t finalized any media rights deals to date in the U.S., but Agag said that Formula E will begin selling its rights more aggressively in the fall. By then, it will have announced more teams and the final two cities, which he believes will help strengthen its offering for broadcasters. Formula E also continues to work on sponsorship sales. Agag set a goal of selling $100M in sponsorship by the end of the year. The series only announced one deal, with Michelin, but it is in discussions with “five to seven groups” and deals with them would bring its sales total to $40M, Agag said.
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