A Look at Cyber-Interactivity Within Formula One
Formula One is seen to be the biggest spending sport in the world. Indeed, millions are spent in just developing the car and millions more in sending the cars, the team and much more to the furthest reaches of the earth.
More is spent on interactive booths and other such things at a Grand Prix, but what about online? In this article, I will be looking at online interactivity of each F1 team and let me say, it's not as amazing as other motorsports.
I will be looking at official Facebook pages, YouTube channels and other things such as team websites:
The newest contender in the top flight of motor racing has also been on the top of the world driver's and constructor's championships.
When it comes to interactivity, Brawn has a very average website but one of the upsides in this is a fan wall and a features tab which you need to be registered to view. There is no preview so you can't see any features.
Their YouTube channel is also a very average one, but it has a podcast in the form of a post-race diary which is narrated by Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. The interactivity on the channel is good because they include comments on their video diaries, which are mostly support for the young team.
It's a good start for the upstarts, but they can definitely up the interactivity with the fans in other areas.
The traditional backmarkers of the Grand Prix are definitely not so in the interactivity department.
They have a very clean and slick website with downloads ranging from desktops to ringtones.
Force India F1 also has a twitter account known as ForceTweet, which will post updates in 140 characters or less!
In the YouTube department, the F1 team has a decent channel but only eight videos at the time of publishing. It appears to be a bit of a narcissistic attempt since it shows a lot of Vijay Mallya and news clips from the BBC, but not much else like a car introduction or driver diaries.
Force India still has adopted some things that other motorsports have taken, but there is lots of room for improvement.
The legendary Williams Formula One team are quite the exclusive ones.
The British team haven't embraced popular platforms like YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook but their website seems to have compensated for that.
The Williams F1 website has videos, podcasts and downloads available for fans. It's also designed in a very sleek manner which compensates for its lack of presence on other platforms.
Still though, in the time of web 2.0, its lack of presence on other platforms puts Williams in the rearview mirrors of other teams since it takes away from the interactivity that the fans can engage in.
The party animals of the pitlane have grabbed the Web 2.0 bull by the horns! The website of the two teams affiliated with the Austrian drink company is interactive and complete with a message board.
When it comes to the other platforms, they have a presence on Facebook under the umbrella of Red Bull Racing, and on YouTube, they have no dedicated channel but are under various Red Bull-run channels.
While not as engaging as Force India or Brawn GP, Red Bull Racing has been able to keep interactivity through Twitter, but again under the central umbrella.
The Japanese team may yet to win a single Grand Prix, but they have an attractive and interactive website that brings about a lot of interesting tidbits such as a behind-the-scenes tour of the pit garage in the paddock and other things.
As far as is known, they have no channel presence on YouTube or Twitter, but they have an official Facebook page, which fans can interact together on a forum
What a fun place to be! The website of ING Renault has an interesting community and an interesting interface in comparison to other teams.
The French marque lacks a presence on Facebook where fans can join in on the discussion, but they have a YouTube channel which mostly covers their roadshows, but the comments are open for fans to interact with each other.
The Regie are also one of the three teams to have a presence on Twitter but appears to be most active during race weekends. Still, an interesting account to see and nice to see a presence on Web 2.0.
The German marque with its team factory in Switzerland has by far a very fun and interactive site to be on filled with images, wallpapers and an interactive section where you can see what a perfect pit stop looks like, what the car is like, etc.
As well, they have a YouTube channel filled with slickly edited videos of race previews, reviews and factory tours. As well, there are videos of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica talking about some of their equipment like their helmets or racing gloves.
BMW's presence on Facebook is also very apparent with photo albums and notes for fans to comment on. An interesting tidbit though is that they have a team donut game on Facebook. A lot of fun to play with and a good way to get fans.
As well as that, the German team has a Twitter account which delivers updates and links to the big stories on their website as well as interaction with fans.
BMW-Sauber seems to have learned how to interact with the connected fan of all the teams so far.
The British team has had some trouble lately in their Grands Prix but their interactivity is still going strong.
The McLaren team website is filled with links, from their online shop to their team news and most importantly, to their experience tab which contains links to their Facebook page and their Twitter feed.
As well, McLaren has a YouTube channel which includes plenty of preview videos as well as web featurettes.
Like BMW Sauber, McLaren has a Web 2.0 presence, but unlike previous years, they do not appear to have the Grand Prix League Competition that was available for the last few years.
Still, their efforts are noted and appreciated by the fan.
The legendary marque which many argue IS Formula One has a website which is under the umbrella of Ferrari in general.
The Formula One section is fun to be in with an interactive and fun to use website, but it lacks videos, which can be found on their YouTube channel, but bunched up with other things such as the Ferrari Challenge. The downside to this is that nobody can comment on the videos that are posted because they are put in a queue and none have been approved for posting.
The Scuderia does not appear to have an official presence on Facebook or Twitter unlike some other teams.
Overall, they may be legendary, but they lack interactivity with fans when comparing with other teams.
To close off, Formula One teams are making progress in marketing themselves in the Web 2.0 world, but as it goes right now, they are behind in a great many aspects when it comes to having fan interaction. The most interactive of the teams are BMW-Sauber, McLaren-Mercedes, Brawn GP, and Renault while the rest are lagging in one area or another.
As well, Formula One, the series itself, has not shown a lot of progress ever since it implemented videos on its website, but hasn't transitioned to any other platforms like the teams.
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