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Here it is. Z Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix Top Ten

Updated: May 11, 2022

I know I know! You've been waiting for my wrap up of the event for days now but in my more mature years I'm learning to be patient, take a step back, marinate and collect my thoughts instead of doing a turbo charged race to get things done. Getting older does it have its advantages. The most anticipated sporting event of the year and my second favorite sport (biathlon and cycling are 1,2) happened in my hometown and what a giant, glamorous, busy, passionate circus it was. The race event was not just at the Hard Rock Stadium, the race was Miami......very Miami!

Let's take a step back to 2015. I was fortunate to be on the team which put on the 2015 Formula E Miami race and sped around our downtown area in what was an impressive car race event. People quickly started positioning F1 to line up and do the same thing. In 2016 I even had meetings with people in the industry on what my thoughts were, reviewing track designs for downtown, Virginia Key and what had to line up commercially to make the event take shape. I was going to be involved some way or another. In the end it was the money which spoke the loudest. The short sighted, uneducated and downright nasty people along Biscayne Boulevard forced the race away from downtown but Stephen Ross' super sports group came in and arguably laid out a great plan to build onto their sports universe at the Hard Rock. The track looked great, provided good competition and was a juggernaut of an event. F1 should still race the streets in downtown Miami but that ship has sailed.

During the last year I stayed in close contact with those in the industry and not a week went by that I didn't have some conversation about the Miami race. I was approached by brands, agencies, store owners and business people from all types who wanted insights and ways to navigate the race. The Netflix effect just put fuel on the F1 engine fire of the Miami race with more and more attention each day. My involvement came down to working with one team in particular and hosting some serious prospects at the race so they could absorb just what it means to be a team sponsor. So, I guess I have some insights to share and another top ten list to put together.

Here you go:

10. Almost 250,000 fans to a sold out event in what people must have known was going to be a hot spectating day. Dozens of languages thrown away. A mixing pot of cultures. F1 racing is here and the demand is off the charts

9. Sponsors were buying in to the race and fast. By November 2021 most sponsorship inventory for the race venue was sold out. Sweet!

8. Teams, sponsors and companies started developing activations everywhere so it was a Miami takeover from Kendall to Wynwood to South Beach and beyond. Miami was the canvas, the F1 ecosystem were the paints and brush.

7. Teams started developing their own Miami focused campaigns with pop ups, meet/greets, parties, custom themed apparel. When you're in cold, cloudy Europe most of the year who doesn't love some Miami flavor

6. Team sponsors did the same thing with months of preparation they created their own 305 branded activations. Without naming names I even heard a team turned down a company who wanted so bad to just sponsor the Miami race they offered 500K for a one race deal. Team turned them down! WOW

5. Prices for everything was inflated. Boo! Well that's capitalism for you. Hotels, cars, food and tickets. Everything more jacked then Arnold in his hey day

4. The race needed way better exit routes for cars and people. Year one for any event is tough and there are a lot of learnings but this one should have been easy to anticipate

3. Fans in the stands had a great time and that's coup

2. Hard Rock/F1 did a great job meshing Miami themes into the race venue from the marina, yachts, beach club, local restaurants, latin flair, glitz and glamour which is quintessential Miami

  1. Catering in the Paddock Club was not to the F1 level many were used to and this is a big deal since so many of the people in the Paddock Club invest in the series, teams and drivers. At an average of 13K per ticket you want to make sure you can get a cup of coffee and the dirty dishes cart isn't running you over. Let's leave it at that. It wasn't so much a first year hiccup as it was more the execution which was the downfall BUT I'm sure it will be fixed for the coming years.

As I heard in the end the race promoters got a lot more right than wrong. These are massive undertakings with mountains of regulations, specs, legalities, city, state and international signoffs to work through. It is not to be taken lightly, not easy to do and a herculean event by all involved. My hats go off to everyone who was involved from the lone security guard in a far corner of the parking lot to the very top brass. You did it!

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