Matt Roberts, from Formula 1, is one of the keynote speakers during the 2nd Retail 4.0 Summit. We had the chance to interview him before the summit to learn more about new technologies impacting Formula 1's business strategies.


In the post GDPR world, how does Formula 1 protect its consumer’s data while still providing personalized fan communications?

When Liberty Media took over F1 in 2017, we had no data so we were fortunate that we were able to prepare for GDPR without worrying about any past data points that we may have had. We worked closely with legal to provide an email opt-in and privacy policy across everything we do which ensured customers were aware of how their data was being used ( as well as giving them the option of opting out). Since 2017, we have built a database from scratch, and now have millions of fans who we are able to send personalised and targeted comms thanks to the measures that we have put in place.


Puma recently became Formula 1’s exclusive retail partner, what technologies have come from that partnership to help grow merchandise sales during race weekends? 

We have incorporated sensor technology at our race weekends to understand how fans move around the circuit. The technology allows us to ensure that we place our merchandise stands and stores in the areas where the footfall is highest. We can also access the best areas for conversion from passerby to engaged visitors. This technology is informing our decision making and has led to a significant year on year increase in merchandise sales as well as increased satisfaction in the whole sales experience.


Augmented and virtual reality has allowed fans to get “closer” than ever to their favorite athletes. How is Formula 1 embracing this trend?

I would say this is an area that we are still a bit behind the curve in. A few years ago, we didn’t even have a Facebook page so we have been playing catch up. However, this will be a key area for us moving forward. We know that ‘ getting closer to the sport’ is very high on spectator wish lists, and as a result, we have introduced pit lane walks and the opportunity to walk or even run on the track over certain race weekends. This has increased our fan satisfaction significantly but we know there is more we can do in this space.


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