F1 owners compare Lewis Hamilton to American athlete worth $500 million

Liberty Media bought the commercial rights to F1 for just over $4 billion in 2017.

Formula 1 owner’s Liberty Media have done a remarkable job since purchasing the sport’s commercial rights in 2017, with the pinnacle of motorsport being bigger than ever before.

F1 has become bigger in every aspect, both globally and financially.

The sport is making more money than it ever has done, whilst more and more countries across the world are expressing their interest in hosting a race.

Liberty Media have done so well in fact, that it was recently reported that they rejected a $20 billion offer to buy the commercial rights, despite having only bought it themselves for just over $4 billion.

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Whenever they do decide to sell their ownership of F1, they’re going to make an unimaginable profit, something they’ve done relatively easily.

Formula 1 is currently booming in North America and somewhat in the Middle East, with Netflix docuseries ‘Drive to Survive’ having been key to that.

The United States in particular has loved the series, something which has led to the nation hosting three races this season.

Liberty Media allowing Netflix to make the series was a great way of opening up the world of F1, and what goes on behind-the-scenes.

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The series allows fans to relate to drivers like never before, whilst also discovering their true personality.

Social media has therefore been critical to Liberty Media’s success, with the sport’s presence online having been virtually non-existent under the previous ownership.

This is largely due to the drivers having been banned from having social media, something Liberty Media has a completely different approach to.

Liberty Media are actually pushing for the drivers to use social media more, as it again gives fans the chance to interact with their favourite drivers.

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei used Lewis Hamilton as an example, as he now boasts “three times” as many followers on Instagram as NFL legend Tom Brady.

“There are many other elements opening up and telling that story that were important,” Maffei said on the Walker Webcast.

“Fan festivals that didn’t exist, you know, driving the cars around Trafalgar Square and doing donuts, opening up social media.

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“The prior management would not let the drivers tweet, would not let them be on Instagram, believing that that would reduce the appeal for our broadcast partners, because we were giving away product. We flipped that on its head.

“Now, Lewis Hamilton has twice or three times as many Instagram followers (34 million) as [NFL’s] Tom Brady (14 million).

“We opened that world up and Netflix… now you can go race drivers on Twitch and race them in video games. So changing the perspective, of which Netflix was an important part but not the only part, and opening that story up to our fans was a huge part of what’s made the difference.”