The Iconic image above was shot by Terry O’Neil who broke a band called The Rolling Stones with a photograph spent time with David Bowie, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, my man Frank Sinatra and a number of other super stars just having fun taking pictures.
I truly don’t know anyone who knows as many people in the world like Terry O’Neil other than Bernie Ecclestone. I’ll never forget a telephone conversation in Italy arranging a pass for myself telling Bernie, “Bernie I was with the Aga Khan earlier”, to which Bernie responded, “He just left the paddock few minutes ago.”
My history with Bernie Ecclestone goes back to the days in Toronto when I was just in my teens and the CEO of Labatt Sid Oland gave me a blank cheque-book. Both Sid and I had a passion for racing, and growing up if you lived in Toronto in those days you would drink Labatt Blue. So how do we sell more beer, there are so many ways but then what is more fun then putting your name on a few drivers and a racing team. Thus began this long relationship with Bernie Ecclestone.
These were the years when race car driver would tell the hot girl sitting with them they would have to vacate the seat in an hour so another model like hot girl could replace them. The years, when if I say anyone with a girl who resembled the girl from the last race one would never say, “nice to meet you again,” as mostly likely this was a different girl. So no room for ‘oops’.
During this time Bernie was busy, he would return your call always. While some would send him lengthy emails about business ideas, if the email was not a few lines it was already too long, and with Bernie Ecclestone it was simply better to pick up the phone and call.
What Bernie was building was one of the greatest sporting event superseded only by The Olympics and The World Cup. Now ask yourself what were you doing?
I first met Ross Brawn in Mexico City, I was standing in the pits when Nigel Mansell ahead of his teammate Riccardo Patrese, both Labatt’s sponsored finished one and two with Michael Schumacher achieving his first podium in a car designed by Ross Brawn. Michael Schumacher would go on to a total of 155 podiums. It was the day a star was born in Formula One.
While Bernie never got Americans, the sport really did need Americans to take it to the next level. Here are some of my ideas I’ll be pitching.
Building a new street track in Florida and I would like to see it on the water in Jacksonville incorporated into the mix below. Here one could parlay a relationship with NFL into a new fan base.
Creating F1 Films, such as ESPN Films, and NFL Films, where young film directors could come make sixty-seconds films for YouTube.
As Liberty media owns forty-percent of Live Nation to tap into artists on tour and put them in the paddock and pits only if they are engaging using their social media
Robin Morgan who bought the photo archive of Terry O’Neil and owns Iconic Images has for years been telling Bernie that Formula One has so much content that has not been exploited and so much can be done with this content.
The F1 On Tour, would use such content of stills and moving images to create an exhibit such as David Bowie Is that would tour and immerse its fans in a dazzling digital world of sound, and music.
Yet the most important of all, for god’s sake get a woman racing, anyone seen the Women’s March? like ‘hello’ talk about a fan base that has not yet been tapped.
Time to rock and roll. Bernie it would not be anything without all your work, living, breathing, dealing Formula One.