Following an ownership change in 2017, Formula 1 aimed to transform direct digital interactions with fans and unlock new revenues. The challenge was F1’s previous focus on deals with broadcasters and circuits left a dormant database and little or no direct contact with the fans. F1 created a new direct-to-fan relationship, recasting eCRM as a fast-paced, brand-building, global entertainment channel. This was built on magazine-style editorial emails with results regularly analysed and optimised, measured against a control group. Fans receiving the programme outperformed the control set on engagement, retention and commercial metrics, exceeding targets. The fan-first strategy is estimated to have returned its investment fourfold in two years.