According to a media article, the company in charge of managing the high-speed motorsport championship Formula 1 – Formula One Management or FOM – paid a whopping $8.5 million to buy the domain name Formula1.com.
The transaction happened in 2002 but is only now coming to light through careful analysis of a 498-page prospectus for a planned flotation of the F1 championship on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The flotation has yet to happen, but the regulatory filing documents provide fascinating insights into the racing series’ digital strategy.
The domain name had been used by its previous owners to report on F1 and it seems that after attempting to use legal weapons against them, FOM gave in and paid the money. Considering F1 has an estimated annual revenue of $1.6 billion and a net profit of $378 million, buying Formula1.com hardly broke the bank at FOM.
The domain name remains in use today as one of the championship’s portals.