Delivering for stakeholders throughout Season 8

The 2021/2022 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship came to an end in August, and our cross-agency teams once again played a vital role in promoting the series, its teams and sponsors, as it returned from two pandemic-impacted seasons.

Having worked with Formula E since 2017, we were in the thick of the action once more in Season 8, responsible for running the Championship’s UK and French PR, activating Saudia’s partnership with the all-electric racing series, and managing NEOM’s sponsorship of Mercedes-EQ into a new partnership with McLaren.

Our Live team, meanwhile, crisscrossed the world for an eighth consecutive year, designing and installing event branding and signage for Formula E, at each race weekend on the calendar. Read on for a rundown of our work for each stakeholder.

Formula E

To kickstart the year, the Formula E PR team helped the series take a starring role at COP26 by using our on-the-ground spokespeople in Glasgow for remote national broadcast interviews. CEO Jamie Reigle and ROKiT Venturi Racing driver Lucas di Grassi spoke to Sky News (Kay Burley) and BBC News, respectively, about the role Formula E is playing in sustainability in sport.

We were then instrumental in announcing that Channel 4 were to become the exclusive home for the all-electric racing series, with agency support from both the Championship’s UK PR team and Jaguar TCS Racing’s comms team. A photocall featuring representatives from the Championship and breakfast at Soho Works, attended by a host of top tier lifestyle, business and motorsport media, were organised to officially announce the news.

Once Season 8 of the Championship was underway, there was one major story off-the-track – the launch of the highly-anticipated ‘world’s most sustainable’ racing car – the Gen3. The team helped run all PR activity surrounding the launch including the media junket at the iconic Yacht Club de Monaco where the revolutionary new car was revealed.

The next major event for us to work on was the 2022 SABIC London E-Prix – the series’ flagship race for a UK audience. A key target was set out for the Formula E team ahead of the E-Prix – to achieve one piece of national coverage each day leading up to the race weekend. This objective was smashed thanks to a strong PR effort from the team that included hosting a media breakfast in the heart of East London with national journalists in attendance.

In what was Formula E’s largest season to date with 16 races across four continents, we provided race previews and reports for each E-Prix to ensure fans were kept up to date with all the big moments. The team also conducted interviews with drivers and wrote quotes-led features to tell the stories of the World Championship to fans.

Media were also a key stakeholder for the PR team, and during the course of the season, we organised bespoke trips for journalists to attend races and learn more about the all-electric-series. In total, eleven journalists across lifestyle, sustainability and national sporting media were sent to selected races.

Saudia

Formula E’s Official Airline Partner, Saudia, was another brand making its presence felt during season 8, enlisting our help in activating its Take Your Seat campaign, which launched with a series of fan activations – including car and flight simulators – at the season-opener in Diriyah.

This was supported by a digital campaign offering the chance to win the ultimate international race hospitality experience and to redeem new loyalty benefits and better rates for travel to Championship races in iconic world cities with Saudia and its SkyTeam Airline Alliance.

As part of that, our Digital and Data experts further brought the partnership with to life by creating a new ‘digital hub’ at  http://www.takeyourseat.saudia.com, featuring AR filters, competitions and a bespoke ‘Take Your Seat’ driving game.

Later on in the season, Saudia enlisted our help with the development of two bespoke content series celebrating the partnership. The first, a six-part social series titled My Life in Travel, featured different driver as the protagonist of each film exploring their favourite destinations on the race calendar.

With the popularity of the sport growing at such a fast pace, there is also still a need to create content which helps inform and educate the viewer, particularly in the Middle East. A second content series, In the Driving Seat, was created to do just that.

NEOM

Featuring more collaboration between our UK and Middle East teams, a highlight of Season 8 was delivering the Pioneers of Progress Summit – a key pillar of our client, NEOM’s, principal partnership with the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team. NEOM invited the Mercedes-EQ Leadership Team and other team partners for three days of exploration, innovation and collaboration, creating tangible new business opportunities across NEOM’s sectors.

Further demonstrating the value of the partnership across wider business functions, the season culminated with the release of a white paper analysing how the partnership has impacted development of NEOM’s future leaders, evidenced through a secondment initiative for NEOM graduates to the MEQ FE Team.