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Zoom Barrels Into Sports VIP Market With Formula 1 Collaboration

By Eric Volkman – Jul 17, 2020 at 11:11AM

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The company is providing the services behind the motorsports giant's Virtual Paddock Club.

A company that is pushing into nearly every aspect of remote media these days, Zoom Video Communications (ZM -6.27%), has crossed another frontier. On Thursday, the company announced a new tie-up with Formula 1 to provide remote VIP services to members of the motorsports company's high-end Paddock Club.

Zoom is delivering what it describes as a "bespoke hospitality experience" for members of the club, as the usual in-person version has been canceled for Formula 1 races due to the coronavirus. This experience includes live updates and commentary from noted figures connected with the racing organization.

View from Formula 1 car during a race.

Image source: Formula 1.

In nonpandemic times, the Paddock Club is a package of luxury services for viewing Formula 1 races. Members are able to watch the races from well-appointed private suites and can enjoy perks such as pit lane tours and fine dining.

Zoom did not reveal any particulars of the Formula 1 deal, including its price. The first Virtual Paddock Club is scheduled to take place this weekend at the organization's race in Hungary.

In its press release heralding the new service, Zoom hinted that it would pursue similar ones in the world of professional athletics. "The Virtual Paddock Club is the best way to recreate that VIP sports experience from home," the company wrote. "Long run, there's an opportunity for a hybrid virtual/in-person model so distance is no longer a barrier to sports hospitality."

Investors weren't necessarily wowed by this deal. On Thursday, the company's stock closed down by 3%, in contrast to the modest gains posted by many peer tech stocks and the broader equity market.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Zoom Video Communications and recommends the following options: short August 2020 $130 calls on Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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