MAY 30, 2002
The power of soccer
FORMULA 1 is a huge international sport but faced with the power of the soccer World Cup it is unlikely that there will many column inches left available in newspapers around the world for the Grand Prix circus in the next four weeks of football mania.
In some ways this is an advantage as it gives the sport a month in which to sort out its political problems while the spotlight of the world's attention is on football.
The end of the World Cup will also mean that come of the major sponsors of that tournament will be turning their attention to other things that they can do in the future and that will provide the F1 teams with the opportunity to chase after big sponsorship deals which may not have been available this year. The big sponsors tend to look at Grand Prix racing in comparison with the World Cup and with the Olympic Games and there is little doubt that on a week-to-week basis F1 comes out ahead, even if the big tournaments get a higher number of viewers in the periods in which they are on. Often such sponsorship is decided on whether or not the chief executives of the companies like motor racing or not. We would, however, expect to see some big sponsors coming into F1 despite the recession once the World Cup is out of the way.
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