The IndyCar Series has revealed the formation of IndyCar Media, a new in-house global distribution arm for its international media rights.
The division will be responsible for securing deals with more than two dozen licensees representing over 100 countries where races from North America’s premier open-wheel motorsport series are broadcast.
The move was announced by Hulman & Company, the owner of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), which also confirmed that the new entity has already begun to arrange the distribution of media rights for the 2019 season.
The launch of IndyCar Media will not affect IMS Productions (IMSP), which will continue to create the series’ global televised world feed. The new distribution arm will tap into IMSP to facilitate technical aspects of programming, while it will also use the production house’s facilities and staff to offer customised video content to various international broadcasters for the first time.
“The IndyCar Series is experiencing a resurgence outside the US,” said Hulman & Company chief executive Mark Miles, who oversaw the development of a similar project for tennis’ ATP Tour. “For that reason, now is a particularly good time to do this. Controlling video content and media rights are essential to growth.
“In the highest-priority countries, we will work more closely with our broadcast partners to define market-specific opportunities, and we will grow our international audiences by focusing on these specific needs. We can enhance the amount of video content by creating new clips or drawing from our extensive archives.”
Stephen Starks, IndyCar’s vice president of promoter and media partner relations, will assist Miles in the development of the new project. Starks has also brought in media rights veteran Heather White, who will serve as the primary licensing point of contact for IndyCar Media.
Discussing the strategy behind IndyCar Media, Starks said: “We will define our most important global markets based on several factors, including the ability to support places where the IndyCar following is already strong, by targeting nations represented among our diverse driver line-up, through focusing on countries where broadcasters are best at growing our audience, and by looking at where we might want to race in the future, to name a few.
“Because we have a baseline of where our content is in high demand, we have a clear direction.”