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Why the Lando Norris-Zak Brown (McLaren) tandem is a marketing goldmine

A driver who has yet to win a Grand Prix and a team on the rise but far from their golden days are leading the Formula 1 marketing race.

Why the Lando Norris-Zak Brown (McLaren) tandem is a marketing goldmine


A driver who has yet to win a Grand Prix and a team on the rise but far from their golden days are leading the Formula 1 marketing race. We investigated the reasons. Lando norris He is the undisputed new Midas king of Formula 1. A recent Formula 1 poll has confirmed that he is the world’s motorsport star with the greatest marketing potential. Currently, it is the third with the most followers, only surpassed in popularity by Max Verstappen and Lewis HamiltonBut we are talking about the world title contenders. Discounting this factor, that Norris is so close in recognition of them indicates the enormous media potential that he treasures.

It is even more shocking to see the gigantic difference in terms of followers over George Russell, generation partner. Not even with his stellar performances and his signing for 2022 with Mercedes, he has managed to reduce the huge gap in popularity that separates them among the younger public, let alone among adolescent fans. What makes this guy so special? It is explained by a mixture of personal qualities accompanied by a job very well done.

Lando Norris jousting his inseparable collaborator Charlotte Seffton

A great pilot and a simple guy

Lando does not respond to the canon of handsome heartthrob-style Jenson button, nor is he a witty and funny guy at the level of Daniel Ricciardo. But in all the parameters used to measure the attractiveness of a star, it scores high and sweeps away its most distinctive sign of identity: naturalness. Lando is someone who comes from a very wealthy family, but he’s probably one of the simplest characters in the paddock. Under his apparent naivety once the helmet is on, he is a tough guy and, as could be seen in Russia, also with a lot of character. He is someone who is immediately perceived as intelligent but above all, he is a great pilot. An extraordinary pilot.

However, the history of Formula 1 is full of great drivers who fell far short of materializing the enormous media and commercial potential that they treasured, either because of their bad decisions or because of the disastrous advice of their environment. The case of Norris is a perfect example of how a rough diamond grows exponentially when polished. Falling into a team like McLaren with a communication and marketing genius like Zak Brown is like being ‘born standing up’.

A perfectly aligned strategy

The Lando-Zak tandem’s formula for success is as simple and old as it is rare to find well applied: aligning the strategy of drivers, team and sponsors. The parties make a preliminary study and agree on the objectives to be achieved, assess the assets that each involved actor has and finally all commit behind good planning. In the activation of sponsorships and image it is crucial to have the ideas well organized in the head. Like the case at hand.

Under a genius (two in this case) it is necessary for someone to land their genius on the ground. In the case of McLaren and Lando Norris, the architect of aligning the planets of that magical universe created by the pilot and the team is called Charlotte Seffton, the person in the rear who makes all that pinpoint planning seem spontaneous and natural.

Adam Norris, Lando’s father, is an astute businessman, a great help for the English pilot’s business activity outside the circuits to go from strength to strength. Lando begins to run a small empire in which his video game and clothing company called Quadrant stands out in a special way. Its success, like that of its communication channels on social networks, is overwhelming and always based on the premise of its spontaneity. When he leads an eSports team, people see that Lando truly participates in competitions and interacts with fans. His YouTube channel is by far the most successful of all the pilots, and it came about in the most natural way.

Lando Norris’ newly launched kart brand has been an instant hit.

Team and pilot, synchronized

In April 2018 Norris asked Zak Brown’s permission to personally bring viewers to his YouTube channel behind the scenes of the McLaren Tech Center. Faced with such a situation, you may find yourself with a stiff boss or someone proactive who detects the opportunity where others see problems. A review of Norris’ social networks proves that synchrony between driver and team. It is very common to see McLaren playing Lando interacting with celebrities YouTubers like Casey Neistat or WillNE, or openly promoting exclusively personal initiatives of your pilot.

A good example of this is the recently launched Kart brand ‘LN’, carried out in collaboration with the group OTK (Tony Kart). McLaren has no connection whatsoever in this entrepreneurial adventure but knows of the enormous pull of its driver among young drivers, which in the long run can only bring benefits to McLaren itself. The brand and the karting equipment have been an instant success and the promises of motorsport are immediately identified with the new brand. Not just because Lando himself was Karting world champion seven years ago, but because their commitment to karting competitions is real and effective.

When two years ago McLaren created their successful series called ‘McLaren Unboxed’, (a series of short ‘documentaries’ that reflect the lives of the drivers, but also the rest of the team throughout the race weekend), they couldn’t have found anyone better than Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz to convey with closeness and charisma an attractive and sincere look at the sport. Hopefully Ferrari knows how to give Carlos the necessary support to be able to replicate this ‘Made in Woking’ success story in Maranello. Here, the Madrilenian could rightly say: And what does Lando have that I don’t?