F1 hires marketing whiz Michael Payne away from IOC

Formula One has hired Michael Payne, one of the world's most accomplished sports marketers, away from the International Olympic Committee.

The move is part of a restructuring at the top, as F1 continues to make new executive appointments in preparation for the eventual departure of Bernie Ecclestone, its 82-year-old CEO.

Last month, ahead of a scheduled partial flotation of its stock, F1 appointed a new chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, and three new directors. Now, the London-based group has recruited both a marketing director and a chief marketing consultant, both from other top-tier sports organizations.

The new marketing director for F1 is Swiss-born Christian Vogt, who has managed broadcasting rights in football (soccer) for FIFA (Federation of International Football Associations) and UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), and in track-and-field for the IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation).

Vogt will work alongside Payne, a British executive who has been most successful sports marketers of the past two decades.

Payne, 46, resigned as the long-serving director of marketing and global broadcast rights for the IOC based in Lausanne, Switzerland, to take a similar role at Formula One. His arrival is seen as a genuine coup for F1.

Payne, a personal friend of Ecclestone, has worked for the IOC for 15 years, during which he has been largely responsible for a spectacular growth of the Olympics brand. It was Payne's $150 million 1999-2000 advertising campaign that helped the IOC to emerge from the Salt Lake City Olympic-bid scandal. He coordinated the purchase by the IOC of more than 50,000 hours of broadcast footage to assemble what is now the most valuable sports archive in the world.

Payne also formulated the IOC's Internet strategy and helped to develop a sponsorship program that has culminated in 10 primary sponsors each paying as much as $50 million at every Olympic Games, and steadily increased the value of the IOC's worldwide broadcasting rights.

Ecclestone has used Payne in the past, notably in 2004 and 2009, when he helped to renegotiate the TV rights in the United Kingdom.

Vogt and Payne replace David Campbell. Campbell was appointed in December 2010 to head Formula One's sponsorship and corporate hospitality division but quit in March this year after disagreements with Ecclestone over strategy. AutoWeek

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