“It’s a big, big opportunity”: Formula E wants to be the top Motorsport in India with debut race in Hyderabad, says Jamie Reigle

Jamie Reigle, CEO of Formula E (Image courtesy: Porsche Newsroom)
Jamie Reigle, CEO of Formula E (Image courtesy: Porsche Newsroom)

Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle believes the Hyderabad ePrix makes India a big opportunity for a top-tier sport to visit emerging markets. The Canadian is also optimistic about the electric racing series becoming a success in the region.

Asked by Sportskeeda about the race in India and the opportunities it will create for motorsport, Reigle said:

“I say this a little bit with tongue in cheek, we know that F1 is been actively engaging with Jakarta since we got there, we know they went to Seoul right before the Singapore Grand Prix. I’m not saying they are copying us, but they are e going into these markets and seeing if it is possible sad of course they are interested in those markets. So we just have to focus on ourselves. For me India is a big, big opportunity, to have a city circuit in Hyderabad, it is pretty special.”

The Formula E CEO believes that F1 is also eyeing emerging markets and other FE venues such as Seoul and Jakarta as potential markets. Reigle feels with two FE teams such as Mahindra Racing and Jaguar TCS having their parental base in India, the addition of the Hyderabad ePrix is an added boost and makes it an interesting market to explore.

Outlining their objectives for the Indian race, the Canadian stated they aimed to become the top-tier motorsport event in the country. Acknowledging the dominance of cricket in the region, the former Asia Pacific director and commercial operations head of Manchester United understands the challenges of creating markets for other sports. Reigle also mentioned receiving complete support from the Telangana government to ensure smooth operation of the event.

Explaining the opportunities they look forward to in India, he said:

“First thing I will say is I’ve only been to India once in my life and it was for a wedding and a vacation. So I don’t pretend like I have any deep insight on Indian culture or the market. But what I would say is look clearly there are two teams with their parent companies based in India, we’ve got Indian commercial partners for some of the teams. There’s been a history of motorsport there, clearly there has been a history of cricket that dominates the market. When I was in ManU, clearly we were always trying to make inroads with soccer, with football. And you saw good success with that, the Premier League is more popular now.”
“Obviously, it is tiny compared to cricket. The question is with motorsport, with having to race there, can we establish ourselves as a top sport, as the top motorsport category in India? To me, that is an opportunity. So we are really excited. There is good government support from Hyderabad, from Telangana. So all the ingredients are there.”

Formula E CEO believes India is an emerging market with potential for motorsport

Jamie Reigle believes that India is one of the emerging markets with great potential for Formula E. With the Hyderabad race having its inaugural edition this year, he expects the event to have a few hiccups and learnings. However, the broadcast medium of Star Sports and Hotstar, which comprises half the subscribers of Disney+, makes the Indian market worth exploring when it comes to growing their audiences.

Highlighting his expectations from the Hyderabad Formula E race to Sportskeeda, Reigle said:

“I think if we look at emerging markets in Brazil, Mexico, and Indonesia, there is also a deep appreciation of the fact of bringing a top-tier global sport to the market. And I think with the Indian fans, that is going to resonate. It’s the first year and I am sure there will be lots of learnings and there won’t be the perfect expression of Formula E in India. But we are really optimistic in the medium term. It’s a huge, huge market and we have the broadcast partnership with Star and Hotstar, that’s like half of Disney+’s subscribers. So all the ingredients are there for that to be a really successful race. It’s funny people have been so focused on the Gen 3 and the technical bits, people are forgetting that we are going to India next month.”

Formula E is making its way to India 10 years after the last F1 Indian GP in 2013, making the electric series one of the first global motorsport events to grace Indian shores in a decade. The electric series will also be followed by MotoGP, which will have its Indian GP at the Buddh International Circuit in September. The success of the Formula E event could be followed by F1, which still has India on its radar as a potential venue. Meanwhile, the Hyderabad ePrix is scheduled to be held from February 10th-11th, 2023.

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Edited by Anurag C
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