US sponsor guru to succeed Ecclestone?
30 January, 2011
Jan.30 (GMM) F1 marketing specialist Zak Brown has been named as a potential successor for the sport’s long-standing chief Bernie Ecclestone.
American Brown, who is racing alongside Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell in this weekend’s Daytona 24 hour race with his own team, also heads Just Marketing, the leading sponsorship agency that represents several high-profile formula one team backers.
A report in the Guardian newspaper said the 39-year-old, whose company fronts for F1 sponsors including LG, Johnnie Walker and Lenovo, said Brown is well poised to “become the most influential man in his sport”.
He is already close to Ecclestone, who attended the launch last year of Brown’s Le Mans team United Autosports, with Brown confirming he has “done a lot of business” with F1′s 80-year-old chief executive.
As for one day replacing the famous Briton, Brown laughed: “That’s flattering.”
“Certainly this is my life,” he explained, before adding that Ecclestone is not looking to retire any time soon. I think it will be impossible to replace Bernie,” said Brown. “You’d certainly have to approach it with a bit of a team.
“There’s a lot I don’t know,” he admitted. “I’ve not done television contracts but those things can be learned, or there are other people that have the expertise.
“I want to be in the sport forever, so if I were ever to get the call to participate in the future of formula one in some way shape or form, I’d jump all over that,” added Brown.