Formula One hands digital strategy duties to Frank Arthofer as it looks to drive more engagement from fans
Formula One’s senior leadership line up has yet another new face with Frank Arthofer named as the new global head of digital.
New owners Liberty Media have made several appointments to help it revamp the sport's digital strategy
Arthofer will lead Formula One’s digital strategy and will be tasked with increasing engagement with fans globally, an area of the sport which has emerged as a major focus for the new owners who recently poached former Sky Sports strategy specialist Yath Gangakumaran to help strengthen the digital arm of the business.
His other duties will include growing digital revenues through owned and operated products and forming strategic partnerships. The requirements of the role reflect Liberty Media’s efforts to turn around the business’ antiquated commercial model, which has been widely blamed for a stagnation in sponsorship revenue.
Arthofer joins Formula One after spending more than a decade in leadership roles in sport, media and technology. Most recently, he was a principal in Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) media and technology practice, working with large multinational companies in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific.
He is credited with driving top-line growth, launching new businesses and digital transformation across an array of partners – including broadcast TV station owners, large TV and film studios, digital video platforms, and regional and global pay-TV companies.
Arthofer is expected to take up the role on 12 June and will report to Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations.
“Frank’s appointment will significantly bolster our digital capability, something we immediately identified as a priority for Formula One,” said Bratches. “His experience at sporting and media brands during periods of transition will prove invaluable as we build out our digital presence.”
Bratches added: “Investment in digital is essential as part of our strategy to engage with a broader range of fans worldwide.”
Commenting on his new position, Arthofer said: “Marquee sport is one of the most valuable assets in today’s media and entertainment landscape, and Formula One is an incredible brand with a very rich history.
“Equally, we have a truly unique opportunity to build on more than 50 years of success by investing in our digital and licensing businesses. We have more than 500 million fans globally, and they want more from us.
“Our goal is simple: we will elevate the way we serve our fans, and we believe we can unlock tremendous growth and value for the sport, the teams and our partners in doing so.”
Other recent senior hires within the sport include the appointment of former World Rugby chief commercial officer, Murray Barnett, as well as Ian Holmes as global director of media rights and Kate Beavan as global director of hospitality.