Saudi Arabia take motorsport to next level


Saudi Motorsport Company launched Image: Saudi Motorsport Company

The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) announced on November 10th the launch of the Saudi Motorsport Company – a new and dedicated commercial entity established to bring the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s motorsport events under a single umbrella. The Saudi Motorsport Company will become the first public body in Saudi Arabia dedicated to commercializing motorsport at a national level.

The ‘Press Release Manager’ stated that the announcement made on November 10th comes as motorsport experiences unprecedented levels of growth in the Kingdom. This December will see the arrival of Formula 1 in Saudi Arabia for the first time in its history when the Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021 makes its much-anticipated debut on the brand-new Jeddah Corniche Circuit – set to become the longest and fastest street circuit in the world – on the weekend of December 3rd to 5th.

The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation is a sports entity, established in 2007, with the aim of supervising motorsport and motorcycle activities in Saudi, to develop and sponsor it and represent Saudi in international federations.

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is a Formula One motor racing event that is due to first take place in 2021. The inaugural edition of the race is set to be held in Jeddah. The race is set to be the fourth full night race on the Formula One calendar, following the Singapore, Bahrain and Qatar Grands Prix.

The ‘Press Release Manager’ further stated that the arrival of the pinnacle of motorsport follows the successful hosting of other major motorsport series over the past few years, including the Formula E Diriyah ePrix (since 2018) (race of the single-seater, electrically powered Formula E championship), the world-renowned Dakar Rally (since 2020) and a groundbreaking round of the revolutionary Extreme E series – the Desert X Prix – staged to great acclaim for the first time earlier this year.

These recurring major motorsports events are delivering directly against the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 with each committed to long-term deals that have helped Saudi Arabia develop an unrivaled portfolio that is not replicated anywhere else in the world.

Indeed, the extraordinary rise of motorsport in Saudi Arabia in recent years has already delivered widespread benefits. For example, the first two editions of the Dakar Rally contributed to the creation of 11,841 jobs (3,606 of which were Saudis) while the broadcast of the event reached 2.2bn households across 190 territories and secured up to 350m digital impressions – showcasing the huge direct and indirect economic and cultural impact hosting such major events has for the host nation.

Up until this point, SAMF has played a leading role in driving these successes. However, with the growth and potential of motorsport in the Kingdom accelerating at such a rapid pace, it has been decided to establish a dedicated commercial entity, the Saudi Motorsport Company, to act as the local promoter for KSA’s growing motorsports event portfolio. This, in turn, will allow SAMF to focus on its role as national sporting authorities (ASN), growing and regulating motorsports nationally and in alignment with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) (governing body for world motorsport).

The consolidation of all current and future motorsport events and series under the Saudi Motorsport Company banner will bring many benefits, including the improvement of operational efficiencies, savings on production costs, allowing the sharing of staff across events as well as commercial benefits such as the bundling of rights and optimizing commercial revenues across a structured national motorsport events calendar. Additionally, new events and series that complement KSA’s existing motorsports events will be added to the growing portfolio, while the Saudi Motorsport Company will also seek to develop new Saudi IPs that can be grown locally and exported internationally.

HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al-Faisal while welcoming the establishment of the Saudi Motorsport Company, stated, “The growth of motorsport in Saudi Arabia is one of the great success stories of our nation’s recent history. We can now confidently call ourselves a major home to the biggest series in motorsport including F1, FE, Dakar Rally and Extreme E and have proven time and again how capable our people are at delivering world class events on a global scale. To this end, it is essential that we focus our efforts on taking advantage of this incredible opportunity for the Kingdom via the establishment of the Saudi Motorsport Company, to help focus our efforts on the consolidation and expansion of motorsports in the country and to maximize the many opportunities hosting these major events offer the people of Saudi Arabia. This is only the beginning, and I can’t wait to see what more is to come in the future!”

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