APRIL 29, 2002
THE Formula 1 engineers are always complaining that other teams are copying what they do (they never usually mention when they are copying someone else). Imitation, so they say, is the best form of flattery and at the moment Formula 1 can be flattered because not only are other sports raising their game to produce better television shows but several racing series have adopted the F1 ideas of coverage, notably NASCAR which has gained control of all of its TV rights and is now centrally-marketing them and looking at the potential of pay-per-view programming.
Formula 1's corporate hospitality is also being copied with news coming recently from New Zealand that the authorities in Auckland have given their formal approval for a VIP hospitality center for the America's Cup yacht racing next autumn. This is called The Base Club and is based on the model of F1's Paddock Club. It is being overseen by a Hamburg-based hospitality company called Travel & More, which is involved quietly, but in a fairy large way, in F1 hospitality activities, taking care of VIPs during race weekends and delivering them to the Paddock Club.
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