This is the second part of a new regular feature Mediaweek On Location. The series will profile media buyers from agencies all around Australia as they meet different media organisations and experience up close the content they produce.
The insights gained will help buyers and marketers best understand how the media business works and will perhaps open other opportunities for agencies and the media.
For the second instalment, we are again at the race track, this time experiencing the sights and very loud sounds of Formula 1 cars with Network 10.
The site for the second Mediaweek On Location was trackside at the Australian Grand Prix circuit at Albert Park. This was the first time since 2019 the Formula 1 cars raced there with the 2020 and 2021 events abandoned because of Covid 19.
The instigator for this On Location opportunity was Network 10’s chief sales officer Rod Prosser. The media agency executive was Mediacom Sydney’s Tom Willson.
Event: Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix
Location: Albert Park, Melbourne
Broadcaster: Channel 10
Agency guest: Tom Willson, Group Client Director, Mediacom, Sydney
Commercial partner: Dell
Facilitators: 10 chief sales officer Rod Prosser, Network 10 sport sales director Nick Bower
“Where we are trying to take brands over the next few years is to get them more involved in popular culture,” Willson told Mediaweek between practice sessions on the Friday at Albert Park. “In Australia so much of pop culture is sports. That starts with AFL and NRL to a massive annual event where we are today – the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
“Many of the people who follow motorsport can be hard to find. With Dell we need to be smart in how we find those people. By planning things like integrations with 10 during the Grand Prix it allows the brand to really sing and puts us in front of the audience in a premium environment.
“Dell has been focussed on a premium strategy for the past few years and we have been looking at ways we can integrate. We do a lot with 10 on other content including The Project and the award-winning program Change Makers. Our partnership at the Grand Prix is another example of how we can utilise a network with premium spots and get the best out of the event.”
Willson said the Grand Prix was part of Mediacom’s strategy of keeping Dell in front of an audience during premium sports events across the year. “It’s not about just doing one big event and then not much else. With 10 we can look at the calendar and use the Grand Prix and also pick our spots and plan a full year.
“The brand can’t be one and done, it needs to be present across the full year.”
Willson said live TV sport is so critical when it comes to guaranteed big audiences. “You know the audience will spike and you will reach the eyeballs. The integration we have done this year with Dell in terms of premium placements sees the client super pleased it can reach an important audience.”
Nick Bower, Network 10 sport sales director, told Mediaweek how the Grand Prix and then the Melbourne Cup bookend the sporting year for the broadcaster. “The Australian Grand Prix is such a very solid event and with all the activity going on around the track it is quite a spectacle. The wonderful thing now at 10 is we have a consistency every week with football.
“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is another event that is quintessentially Australian and has now become quintessentially 10. In between then and now our football rights continue which includes the Socceroos on the road to the World Cup and the Matildas.
“Recently announced is the rights we have for Manchester United’s visit down under which will offer some fantastic premium football matches in July.”
While the Network 10 management and sales teams were doing the heavy lifting in the corporate entertaining suite, keeping the audience engaged across the weekend was another team. The real ace for 10 onscreen during the F1 coverage was former driver and nine-time F1 winner Mark Webber. He worked pit land and the paddock across the weekend and also commentated during the Sunday afternoon race. Joining him in the commentary booth were Tom Clarkson and Richard Craill. Hosting duties across the weekend featured great work from Angela Bishop covering guests visiting the race and Tara Rushton and Scott Mackinnon working trackside.
Mediaweek On Location: Get involved
There might be another sport you’d like a closer look at. It might be a TV or radio newsroom or maybe a breakfast radio show, or a morning talking to decision-makers on a magazine, newspaper or digital publishing brand. Or maybe a set visit to a reality show.
If you work at a media agency or on the marketing team at an advertiser let us know via [email protected] about what part of the media you’d like to get up closer to. We are not just planning Sydney adventures either, other cap cities and regional markets are welcome.