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Why Miami’s Formula 1 race benefits the sport and big brands

Yahoo Finance’s Pras Subramanian joins the Live show from Miami to discuss the Formula 1 race and break down how big brands are benefiting from the grand event.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, Formula 1 is taking a big victory lap following its inaugural Miami Grand Prix. Dutch Belgian driver Max Verstappen took home the top prize over the weekend, giving his team, Oracle Red Bull Racing, a big win. But the biggest winner of the event may have been F1 itself. Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian, who is live in Miami.

Tough assignment for you, Pras, but the fact that so many people were talking about the F1 this weekend really just points to the fact of how much growth they've seen. And some would argue you can kind of peg that to Netflix, right?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, you can. Really a perfect storm, right, if you will, of US high interest in F1, the Miami, the glitz, the glamor here, all coming together in one big weekend. You know, we had a sellout. Actually a really great track [? lead, ?] big build up, nicely done around the Hard Rock Stadium, which many people were impressed by.

And like you said, it's a big win for the sport, but also, you know, the brands and the people involved. You know, that Netflix effect, that is a big-- that is a big key part of that. And just on cue, Netflix renewed season 4 and 5 this week while we're at Miami Grand Prix. And it's not just, you know, the-- it's also the teams off of that Net-- that sell cars that are actually-- that's part of their business.

I spoke to Aston Martin when I was here. They told me about how, you know, on the days that they have their-- their Aston Martin has the pace car and the medical car, when those cars are on track, they see an increase on the website up 40% on those weekends. So they see actual concrete changes in there for their interest in their cars. And also, they talk about how they can go to these races like in Miami. They see close to 200 of their clients there. And that's a big deal. When you sell 600-- 6,000 cars a year, you see 200 fans, 200 clients here, 200 clients there, 200 clients maybe in London, and that actually adds up to a lot of value for these teams.

But you know, Akiko, it's also the big brands. You mentioned Oracle-- they are a key sponsor for Red Bull. They reportedly signed a $500 million five-year deal with Red Bull. So it's not just those big brands. It's also smaller brands like Stanley Black Decker, you're talking about Monster Energy, talking about companies like AMD, a lot of big tech companies. So it's a lot of big companies that want to be a part of this-- a part of this race, this racing series, that gets around 70 million eyeballs a weekend globally.

AKIKO FUJITA: 70 million, that is a huge audience. As F1 sees its fan base grow here in the US, how do you think the sport builds on the success from Miami?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: You know, I think first and foremost, it's getting more eyeballs on it. So right now in the US, you're getting about 1 million viewers a weekend for a race in the US. I think that in order to really move the needle, you need to get into the tens of millions, right? So I think that's the big thing that ESPN is now trying to do. They have a renegotiation with F1 to get the next season of live programming on their air.

And you know, initially, when ESPN got the series, they paid nothing for it because F1 was so unpopular, F1 just wanted to have the series on the US, and they said, just take it. And then eventually, ESPN started paying $5 million a year for it, and now reportedly F1 is like, you know what? We're doing pretty well here. Let's get to 75 million. That's what they want to target.

So if you think about it from an ESPN point of view, it's not that big of a deal when they're paying billions of dollars for legacy sports like basketball and football. Lots of big fans, but also, those sports aren't growing. F1's growing. So I think from my point of view, the biggest thing for the sport to do is to get more eyeballs on it. And I think that helps Netflix and that helps with ESPN.

AKIKO FUJITA: OK, we'll all be watching. Travel back safely, Pras. Thanks so much for that. Live from Miami.