Disney and BMW create mobile F1 theme park
By Mike Hanlon
May 8, 2006
May 9, 2006 There’s a rule of thumb for sponsorship that for every dollar of sponsorship, a company should spend another dollar promoting that sponsorship. With BMW returning to Formula One, it has backed its ability by creating an incredibly clever marketing device – a fully transportable theme park developed in conjunction with Disney World to explain and demonstrate all the excitement of pit stops, race strategies and team tactics in an entertaining, interactive attraction. Launched at the European F1 Grand Prix at Nurburgring last weekend, the BMW Sauber F1 Team Pit Lane Park spans 5,400 square metres, can accommodate up to 16,000 visitors per day, and features a 90-metre-long stretch of track, leading to a 25-metre-diameter turning area flanked by grandstands. Yet another example of BMW efficiency is evident in that the park operated until Sunday night in Germany, and will open for business again on Friday in Barcelona to support the Spanish F1 GP next weekend. After Spain, it will have a more leisurely pull down prior to opening at Silverstone (UK) for the British F1 GP opening Thursday, 8 June. The park will visit Montreal (Canada), Monza (Italy) and Shanghai (China) later this year to coincide with those Grands Prix.
Both BMW Sauber F1 Team drivers, Jacques Villeneuve and Nick Heidfeld, plus test and reserve driver, Robert Kubica, were on hand to put the F1 car through its paces in front of packed grandstands at the ‘ring. The star of the show is the 2006 BMW Sauber F1 car, offering fans unprecedented up-close access to the sound, speed and dynamics of the world’s most state-of-the-art racing machinery. Powering up throughout the day, the F1 car will alternate on-track with a Formula BMW racing car, offering visitors an insight into the full spectrum of BMW motorsport’s abilities and achievements. Complementing the on-track action, along the length of the pit lane, the park features garages comprising: - a Pit Stop Challenge - show cars on display in the pit lane garages: race-ready and stripped-down - a chance to have your picture taken in F1 racing overalls - interactive technical exhibits - the chance to participate in a Formula One quiz - driving simulators - a BMW Sauber F1 Team merchandise shop - Speaker’s Corner – for fans to question the drivers BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen comments: ‘This high-tech adventure park brings a piece of the pit lane right to the spectators: it’s an adventure complex where fans can experience Formula One close at hand, and it’s going to be something special – something fans have never seen before in F1.’