On November 18, 2012, Austin was home to the first Formula 1 race in the U.S. since 2008. The multi-purpose facility, called Circuit of The Americas, is a world-class destination for performance, education and business. It is the first purpose-built Formula 1 Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for any and all classes of racing, from motor power to human power. Hahn Public Communications was brought on in early 2011 to help Circuit of The Americas tell this intriguing story.
Hahn Public served as the media relations and strategic communications partner for Circuit of The Americas. From the moment the possibility of a Formula 1 race in the United States was mentioned, media, fans and naysayers alike helped cultivate a consistent flow of discourse and conversation. Hahn Public was charged with the task of shaping that discussion by developing communications strategies and plans, drafting regular press releases and media pitches, creating multimedia assets for media use, monitoring and responding to social media dialogue, and a number of other critical communications functions.
While Formula 1 on an international stage is a well-known brand, it’s not a familiar concept to most Americans. Hahn Public developed ideas and newsworthy concepts for pitching local, regional, national and international media outlets that appealed to both race fans and the general public. Hahn Public was also responsible for developing communications materials for presentations and events. For example, Hahn Public oversaw the production of a SxSW Film Festival partnership. Using the buzz and following of famous Formula 1 driver Aryton Senna, Hahn Public worked to introduce Austin stakeholders and community leaders to the Formula 1 brand with a film screening and post panel event.
Hahn Public was also a critical part to the unrolling of the Circuit of The Americas brand. Hahn Public managed all the programming elements and media relations around the major announcement of the facility’s name, new partners and programs, and an additional racing series. The conference was live webcast through SPEED TV and supported by materials posted online during the press conference and shortly after. The Hahn Public team conducted all media outreach, coordinated event invitations, developed the program’s run-of-show, produced a full event media kit, created the script and its accompanying presentation and managed the track media tour logistics. The conference had approximately 110 people in attendance, including 34 journalists representing numerous publications. 27 journalists attended the extended press conference track tour, gathering content that resulted in additional earned media.
Media coverage in the following week saw 3,567 media mentions, including 315 news articles in publications ranging from motorsports publications to the general press, and including LA Times, CNN, ESPN, BBC, Reuters and every major daily newspaper in Texas. International coverage included 68 articles, including in the vital Mexican media market where future ticket sales efforts would be made.