YouTube CEO Chad Hurley joins USF1

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Chad Hurley is joining USF1

Chad Hurley, the co-founder and present CEO of YouTube, has joined USF1, following rumours that emerged two weeks ago linking him to the team.

Hurley said:

Getting in on the ground floor of a project of this size and scope is a tremendous opportunity, and I look forward to helping shape the USF1 vision and corporate strategy for years to come.

As we discussed earlier the implications of the tie-up are interesting as Formula 1’s commercial owners are at pains to stop fans sharing F1 videos (even those they shot themselves) being uploaded to YouTube. Hopefully Hurley’s arrival on the scene will help awaken the powers-that-be to the massive opportunities for promotion YouTube offers.

The deal is a serious coup for USF1, who have brought on board a man who helped found a website that was sold for $1.65bn just 17 months after it was set up.

It’s not clear whether this means we’ll see YouTube logos on the side of the USF1 cars in 2010.

Press release


Hurley to Provide Visionary Guidance and Corporate Strategy Expertise to America’s First Formula One Team in More Than 40 Years

Charlotte, N.C. (Aug. 20, 2009) – Taking on the might of the world’s best race teams just got a little bit easier for USF1 as it was announced today that Chad Hurley, YouTube co-founder and CEO, has joined the American operation in its quest to compete on the world’s grandest of motorsports stages in 2010 and beyond.

USF1, led by Formula One veterans Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor, is bidding to become the first American team to win a Grand Prix since Dan Gurney’s Eagle in 1967. USF1, which was formally accepted by the Federation de l’Automobile (FIA) on Friday, July 31, when it signed the Concorde Agreement, is currently designing its racecar and developing its sponsorship portfolio and driver lineup.

"I am thrilled to be a part of America’s first Formula One team in more than 40 years," Hurley said. "Getting in on the ground floor of a project of this size and scope is a tremendous opportunity, and I look forward to helping shape the USF1 vision and corporate strategy for years to come."

In his role as USF1’s primary investor, Hurley will bring his entrepreneurial ingenuity and unique outlook on social media to USF1 while also providing corporate strategy and visionary expertise to the startup operation. Hurley will be a major force behind the team’s goal to showcase that a U.S.-based team with American technology can compete again in Formula One and eventually win races in the most prestigious and most celebrated motorsport in the world.

"Chad’s addition to the team is a victory for USF1," said Anderson, USF1 president, CEO and team principal. "Bringing in a businessman with his level of credentials, and experience in developing and fostering a vision for startup companies, is an honor, and we look forward to taking on the Formula One challenge together in 2010 and beyond."
Hurley is credited with helping take YouTube, the world’s largest video sharing site, from a simple idea to a cultural phenomenon which in 2006 was awarded "Best Invention of the Year" by Time Magazine.

"This is a great day for USF1," said Windsor, executive vice president and sporting director for USF1. "Chad’s commitment to this team is vital and his visionary expertise and leadership will help steer us into the future as we look to attract best-in-class sponsors, drivers, employees and fans in our quest to compete at the highest level of motorsports."

For much of the last 10 months USF1 has been designing its racecars from its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, the motorsports capital of the United States. The location of the 40,000 square-foot facility provides accessibility to top-level staff members and the highest concentration of racing-specific suppliers, technical analysis companies and testing partners in the United States.

Formula One is the world’s most popular and recognizable form of motorsport featuring racing’s most advanced cars and talented drivers. In 2009, Formula One is holding 17 races in 16 countries that are televised in nearly 200 countries with worldwide viewership of race broadcasts likely to exceed 600 million people.

About USF1 Team

USF1 Team is an officially sanctioned and approved Formula One operation that was formed by motorsports veterans Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor. From the design and construction of the racecar to the development of the next generation of American drivers, USF1 brings an authentic American effort to the global stage of Formula One. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, motorsports capital of the United States, USF1 will compete full time in 2010 and beyond in one of the world’s largest and most popular sports.

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Image courtesy of eirikso via Flickr

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “YouTube CEO Chad Hurley joins USF1”

  1. But in terms of attracting sponsors, having a brand like….

    … yes? ;)
    But I doubt that it will change much on Bernie’s stance on Youtube videos :S

    1. Sorry that line was deleted!

  2. An article by Dieter Rencken on Autosport Plus (the subscription site) has this interesting line from Jason Markham, the commercial director at USF1:

    What we’ve been doing for the past four months is filming everything we’ve been doing, and we plan to offer anything from two to five hours of unique broadcasts on our website mark II each week.

    1. Well, it seems USF1 web site will become a place to bookmark!

  3. I think it’s clear now that Hurley is an investor and will be active in the USF1 operation, without any relationship between USF1 and YouTube.

    Windsor has maintained that they would be doing things a bit differently, and Hurley certainly is a “think outside the box” sort of person. I’m sure he will bring some interesting concepts into the operation.

  4. USGPE off to a nice start. Couple more big $$$ guys, and they may just have something.

    GL in 2010

  5. This is great…a young man with big visions and an open mind joining the USF1 team.I am looking forward to watching my home team grow,and they are off to a good start.I do hope this merger will soon open the minds of the FIA and they realise the exposure they could get on YouTube.If they want this brand to succeed here in the USA they have to get it out there somehow.

  6. until it’s in writing, i don’t expect youtube sponsorship for the team. youtube is owned by google, and is known for making substantial losses.

    best case scenario:
    USF1 (with any livery) and F1 in general are plastered all over, generating huge interest – but only after USGP is back on.

  7. Its been suggested that Hurley/youtube might act as a broker for 3rd party sponsors, potentially ones that might only contract for a few races. I can only hope that doesnt lead to monstrosities like the 99 BARs appearing every couple of months!

  8. Thankfully I don’t think this means Hurley is putting any money in. Because he’ll never see it again (although that would be karmic).

    I don’t know if this is sensible on Windsor’s part. He needs people who can navigate the evil laser-equipped-shark-infested F1 waters. Without wishing to be mean, Chad got lucky with YouTube (would that we were all this lucky). F1 is much harder work than a clever idea on the internet. If I had Chad’s money, I’d buy STR, not mess about with USF1.

    Don’t get me wrong – if F1 weren’t the way it is, he’d be awesome. IRL needs him whereas F1 doesn’t, if you see my meaning.

    1. if i had his money wouldnt sink it into the F1 money pit. but i would have a nice boat in the harbour in monaco to watch the race from, in the company of several swimsuit models :D

    2. The fastest way to become a millionaire in F1? Get in as a billionaire…

      Yeah, BMW and/or STR would have been better bargains, and with BMW you know they love their computers…

  9. i doubt well be seeing youtube on the side of the car

    youtube doesnt actually amke any money for google..its still trying to figure out how to make youtube profitable

    1. its rumored that youtube will be made a pay & use site in the coming few months :(

  10. As someone living in the Silicon Valley, I welcome this announcement and proudly regard USF1 as my “home team.” It is great to see a team trying something different than to take the boring path of buying an existing operation. Really, there is nothing more appropriate for an American team than to bring the entrepreneurial spirit of one of the last great industries that America still has.

    1. Well said.
      We can only hope additional American business will see the opportunities in worldwide F1 marketing as the team gets up and rolling. As the worldwide recession eases it will help investment.
      Additionally, it would be nice to think if that happens it can only bode well for 1 or 2 USA GP’s. You know all the manufacturers want to race here!

  11. Whoops, should have read the whole thing. Primary investor. Hilarious. He is gullible.

  12. I’ve read in Marca (Spanish newspaper) Pedro de la Rosa and Vitaly Petrov will be the drivers for Meta Campos F1 team.

    So they will have a much experienced driver in developing cars (Pedro) and a new driver (but not very young-he’s 25) coming from GP2 with a huge amount of money in sponsorship (Vitaly)

    Marca is not a very accurate source, but sometimes they are right.

    1. I haven’t watched GP2 this season- is Petrov any good? I know he’s doing ok in the championship, but he sounds like a pay driver to me. I get the impression that Hulkenberg is by far the best of the current GP2 drivers.

  13. Well, this seems to be another case of a rich guy taking a personal interest in a team (read: Red Bull, STR, Force India). That’s okay, but I would be happier if YouTube itself was going to be a title sponsor. We need corporations to think they can get their money’s worth by sponsoring teams. It has to be an economically viable sport without the patronage of a few guys with deep pockets.

  14. Brilliant. There is an interview with this joker on Autosport where they big up the positives of bringing a sharp business brain into F1.

    Give me a break – there wasn’t really much of a business model behind YouTube was there? Make a website that becomes popular because it gives punters stolen IP for free, wait till it gains critical mass then sell it to some other clown with more money than sense (Google)

    Great for making you a quick dollar (or billion) but the Google business ‘brains’ are still scratching their heads trying to figure out how to make money from this very expensive lemon that they bought.

    And now Hurley is back, again showing his business acumen by bankrolling an F1 backmarker in the making. And for what? He’s not even promoting a product. Hurley obviously hasn’t heard the old adage about making small fortunes in F1…

    Good on him though, cant criticise someone bringing money in to the sport in this day and age.

  15. With all the talk about F1 Teams actually making money instead of spending money once the big budget cuts fall into place, Chad Hurley might even be making a smart investment for himself.

  16. Several F1 sites are now saying the same thing re Petrov

  17. All in all, this is a very good news item for USF1 and the sport in general. Any time you get a guy who not just has money himself, but connections to many other sources as well, It’s a good deal for the team involved. Hopefully more such announcements will put to rest the theory of the team actually being a phantom entry that exists in name only and has no real headquarters or staff ;)

  18. Any news is good news, but show me a sponsor and a team infrastructure please. As a private equity investor I’m hoping Hurley will find the sponsors so he can at the least recover his initial bankroll.

    His interview didn’t expose any brilliant insights or novel approaches to sponsorship, other than “new media”.

  19. I question Mr. Hurley’s reason for investment in formula one racing as not out of love of the sport and would think that his prospective investment should be reviewed by the proper authorities.

  20. I would like to know more on this.

Comments are closed.