How to improve Formula E: YouTube

I am a massive Formula E supporter – its blend of fast-paced, edge-of-the-seat action with a message of sustainability really appeals to me, and its debut season certainly hasn’t disappointed. As a fan and a PR professional, I will be writing a series of blogs over the coming weeks to highlight some areas for development as the sport looks towards its second season. Today…


Today marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the global video phenomenon that is YouTube – a platform that has grown so large that its user population would make it the second largest country in the world.

But what does it have to do with Formula E? Well, with over 1 billion views each day and over 3 billion search queries – making it the second largest search engine in the world – YouTube is the place to be if you want to grow your audience.

I have already documented the fundamental role that social media has played in Formula E’s success, but in YouTube I believe I have found a real area for growth.

Visual communication

The human brain processes visual images 60,000 times faster than text – it’s an innate part of our evolutionary make-up that we all share.

In late-2013/2014 most consumer brands tapped into this, rapidly increasing the amount of visuals that they used in their marketing and, crucially, their social media campaigns. Subsequently they found that tweets with even a single image generated 200% more interactions.

As such a visceral sport, Formula E is perfectly placed to share the sights and sounds of racing through video.

Successes and opportunities

A YouTube search for ‘Formula E’ currently generates in the region of 1,500,000 results – no mean feat for such a young sport.

At this point I must congratulate the FIA Formula E team, as the official channel leads the way with 23,815 subscribers and over 4,200,000 views since its YouTube channel went live in January 2013. This is commendable and has clearly driven engagement with the sport from the top.

Top videos from a wider search include the Test Debut footage, TAG Heuer’s “Formula E in Geneva” and, of course, the last lap crash between Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost from the championship’s debut race in Beijing.

However, looking at the teams there is a mixed affair. Some have drawn on their presence in other racing categories while others have all but shunned video all together – and the less said about China Racing’s use of Vine the better.

With FanBoost acting as such a great engagement tool for the teams and fans alike, sharing regular video updates offers the potential to strengthen these bonds and give supporters the chance to see a side of Formula E that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Furthermore, with the largest proportion of YouTube’s demographic aged between 13-24, the platform offers the chance to really connect with the next generation of car owners, race-goers and supporters – Formula E’s prospects with younger audiences are considerable and making the most of this is crucial to its future.

With one out of every two internet users present on YouTube, making the most of the platform is essential for the 2015/16 season – for teams, the sport, and fans alike.

I’ll leave you with a quick breakdown of the team’s use of YouTube at present.
(Note that the number of videos relates only to Formula E content to provide a fair comparison)


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