Q&A with Adam Crothers, Head of Digital Media Rights at Formula 1®

March 23, 2021 • Company News, Sport

Last month, we announced that Getty Images is the Official Photographic Agency of Formula 1®. The new long-term partnership formalises a professional and ongoing relationship that Formula 1® and Getty Images have enjoyed throughout decades of competition. To celebrate the partnership, Adam Crothers, Head of Digital Media Rights at Formula 1®,
shared with Sport Business why Formula 1 chose to formalise their relationship with Getty Images and what made us the perfect partner.

What is the value in having an Official Photography Agency and why was Getty Images the right choice in this?

We place tremendous value in all of the media IP that we create, own and distribute; be that audiovisual or static imagery assets. It’s well documented that F1 has a very broad, progressive and scalable distribution strategy when it comes to our audiovisual IP, be that live, highlights or original programming and across multiple media platforms. We felt it was hugely important that we also had a strong and robust distribution strategy as it related to our photography IP and after careful consideration, we felt that Getty Images were the right partner to deliver on that charter. Getty Images came to us with a very compelling vision on why and how they were best suited to both capture the true essence of F1 at each GP but equally, to broaden the reach of F1s rich catalogue of photography. Given their impressive track record in delivering on that vision with our peers on a global basis, we felt they were the right choice for us.

Given Getty Images has a long history in the sport, why the decision to formalise the relationship now?

We felt that now was the right time to try and add some structure to how the photography business operates at F1, both from a photography capture at track perspective, as well as how we optimally distribute those assets that have been captured. Even though the media entities that ultimately use our imagery to tell a story each race weekend has changed markedly over the last decade, photography still remains a vitally important window into our sport. Relatedly, an integral pillar in Liberty Media and F1s ambitious growth strategy is getting all of our media IP in front of as many new fans as we can, on a global scale, and it’s for that reason, as I mentioned above, we felt that Getty Images were the right partner to help us achieve on that strategy. Equally and as you said, Getty Images has a very long history in F1 so we truly felt that we were partnering with an agency that genuinely and credibly understands our sport – another important factor in our decision making process.

What are the main qualities you look for in a photograph which captures Formula 1 and has this shifted at all due to the pandemic and the changes it has brought?

Getty Images Sports photographers are experts in their field and when we talk about the qualities required to capture F1 we look for expertise and creativity. We wanted photographers that truly understand the sport, are able to bring the audience closer to the action and capture something that they don’t necessarily see or appreciate through television. The Getty Images photographers bring a level of creativity that captures the speed, the colour, the adrenaline and the excitement of Formula One. We want unique angles, unseen moments, imagery that connects with the viewer. Just as a Formula one car looks for the extra tenth, we wanted photographers that strive to be the best.

Our approach to photography hasn’t changed during the pandemic, we still look for the same qualities in our imagery, it has to be of the highest standard and engage with our audience. The Pandemic has perhaps made it more challenging in terms of access for photographers but the Getty Images team have raised the bar in bringing us stand out imagery given the limitations they’re operating under. I have no doubt they will continue to be at the front of the grid creating a lasting legacy that tells the story of Formula 1 in 2021 and beyond.

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