Williams is seeing commercial gains from having an office in New York as it looks to leverage the growing number of American races alongside Logan Sargeant and Jamie Chadwick being part of the team.
Sargeant will be the first full-time American driver in Formula 1 since Scott Speed more than 15 years ago this year, while Brit Chadwick will race for Andretti in INDY NXT. Williams commercial director James Bower says their presence leads to an increase in U.S. interest but that the team had already invested in New York to try and capitalize on the growing market.
“Of course it’s extremely exciting having Logan with the team as the first American driver in the sport for a full season since 2006,” Bower said. “But we have been investing in a number of Americas of our proposition to partnerships. So I think we are the only team to have an office actually in America – in New York, in Tribeca – we have a large fan engagement team based out of that office which is led by the former senior vice president of fan engagement for the NFL.
“There are a number of American sports marketing specialists in that team. We’re investing in fan activations around the U.S. races and assets that we have in-market, so when those things come together with Logan and Jamie Chadwick on the academy as well competing in INDY NXT it’s building a center of gravity that is helping us commercially.”
And Bower says the new Gulf partnership is one of many deals that provide more stability for Williams despite losing some sponsors that were linked to former driver Nicholas Latifi.
“I think we are clearly in a multi-year commercial plan of how we rebuild the team. I think there’s a perception about lost revenue from recent changes where the reality is slightly different. We are launching a number of new partners as we go into the season as well so I think we’re in a more robust position than the team has been in for a number of years.
“And we’re ambitious and aggressive with how are in the market as well and how we investing in building the Williams brand. Of course having Gulf as part of the commercial partner portfolio for that journey is really exciting.”