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Ellie Norman has decided to leave her role as director of marketing at Formula 1 after five years ahead of taking on a new challenge.

She joined the organisation in 2017 following its acquisition by Liberty Media and has played a key role in its transformation.

During her tenure, Norman has built the marketing team from the ground up and been responsible for rebranding Formula 1 and overhauling its approach to fan engagement.

In 2018, Formula 1 made its biggest ever investment in digital with the launch of subscription service F1TV, as it looked to change perceptions of the brand and better serve its fans.

At the time, Norman described the move as a “real step-change” for the sport. From that point on she said every decision the organisation made must be about serving fans. “If it doesn’t serve the fan, it doesn’t serve Formula 1,” she told Marketing Week.

Under her leadership, the marketing team has also created a CRM programme to provide the business with a single customer view, as well as establishing a global brand presence on social media.

Elsewhere, Norman has been responsible for promoting greater inclusivity within the sport. Ahead of Formula 1’s return following a pause caused by the pandemic, she launched the ‘#WeRaceAsOne’ campaign, which kicked off in June 2020.

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 “As a global sport we have a responsibility, we have a huge platform and we should be using it as a way to speak out against things that have no place in our society, such as racism,” she said.

Norman has experience of growing ‘challenger’ brands within their categories and prior to joining Formula 1 spent five years at Virgin Media, most recently as head of advertising and sponsorship. Before this she held a number of roles at Honda, culminating in European communications manager.

Norman has not confirmed what her next move will be but given her experience it will again likely be focused on business transformation.

Her replacement at Formula 1 has not yet been named. In the interim the marketing team will report into Sacha Woodward Hill, who is the general council for Formula 1 and a member of the board of directors.