Extreme E expands audience reach with National Geographic in Latin America
London: In the latest motorsports news, Extreme E, the electric motorsport series has announced today that National Geographic will broadcast its magazine programmes - ‘How to Build a Race Car’, ‘The Electric Dream´and ‘Climate Changers’ - along with all of its debut season X Prixs on a delayed basis in its region of Latin America. The programmes will be televised in both Spanish and Portuguese.
In its debut season, this very entertaining ‘sport for purpose’ series has already got off to a rocking start with two amazing events – the first in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, in April followed by the most recent in Dakar, Senegal.
Millions of fans around the globe sat glued to their screens as motorsporting stars like Sara Price, Kyle LeDuc, Jamie Chadwick, Mattias Ekström, Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson, took on the championship in their monster ODYSSEY 21 race cars on gravel, rocks and stunning sand dunes – not only with the objective of taking home the prestigious Extreme E trophies, but also with the goal to create awareness regarding the adverse effects of climate change on these fragile locations.
Alongwith the racing, the Extreme E team also implements Legacy Programmes within the areas it visits with a view to bring about positive change.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “Extreme E is delighted to have secured National Geographic as a broadcaster. The channel is famed for its brilliant and fascinating documentaries on science, adventure, nature and environmental topics, all of which are subjects close to the heart of our championship.
“As well as our great racing, Extreme E is in essence, a ground-breaking adventure for all of us. I believe that the stories behind the series, the people involved, our legacy projects and even the history of our floating centrepiece, the St. Helena, will delight and inspire National Geographic’s audiences. Coupled with our on-going scientific research into the effects of climate change and what can be done to lessen the terrible damage that its causing, makes for a broadcast that is as captivating as it is eye-opening and we want to share this with as many people as possible.”
Following the first two X Prixs in Saudi Arabia (3-4 April) and Senegal (29-30 May), Extreme E now moves on to Greenland (28-29 August) with the last two race venues to be confirmed. By holding races in locations that are suffering due to the environmental crisis, such as deserts and the Arctic, the objective is to increase viewers' interest and awareness in environmental issues.
Extreme E's middle ranked teams look forward to Senegal to climb up the leaderboard
Similar to the top three teams in the Extreme E table, the middle rankings featuring ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team (fourth), Hispano Suiza XITE Energy Team (fifth) and JBXE (sixth) are separated by only a few points with 26, 20 and 17 points respectively.
Although ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team were in the second position after qualifying propelled them to Semi-Final 1, they narrowly missed out on a spot in the Final finishing third in that session. Hispano Suiza XITE Energy Team and Jenson Button’s JBXE team were both in Crazy Race but missed a chance in the finals after being defeated by Andretti United who then eventually clinched the second spot in the last race of the day.
There is still a lot to play for as the Ocean X Prix in Senegal from 29-30 May will provide opportunity for points in both the Qualifying rounds and Final, making a team's way up in the points table a real possibility that all the sides will relish.
Albert Fàbrega, ACCIONA | Sainz XE’s Team Principal says: "It was positive to show our speed from the very beginning, even though we narrowly missed the Final. We are very excited now to go to Senegal. The Lac Rose in Dakar is a legendary place in the history of motorsport. Both Laia and Carlos are very experienced drivers in those conditions. We have been working to improve our performance and we are hoping we can fight for the podium again.”
Like many of the Extreme E drivers Laia Sanz, too has been contesting elsewhere before Senegal in the Andalusia Rally, again on four wheels which is very different to her two-wheel Dakar pedigree, however is a very important practice for the upcoming event at Lac Rose. She says:
“It is important for me, because I am continuously learning when it comes to racing on four wheels, which is not my natural environment. The Andalusia Rally was very positive for me in my progression on four wheels and I am convinced that it will come in handy in Senegal, so yes, I am more confident going into the second event of the Extreme E season. First because I have the experience of having raced in AlUla and second because of the work that I am putting in testing and racing in competitions like the Andalusia Rally.”
Driver duo of Brit Oliver Bennett and Spaniard Christine GZ finished at the second spot in the Crazy Race. The two had a steady Saudi outing that put them in the centre of the overall rankings. Oliver says: “I’m really XITE’d to get to the Ocean X Prix in Senegal. It feels like a long time since we last drove the car so I’m anxious to get back behind the wheel and keep familiar with this new electric monster.” He continues: “The overall feeling for this event is positive, we learnt a lot in the first round and came away feeling confident and with a good strategy for the season ahead. It’s a new environment, most likely another extreme one, so we will be as prepared as we can to do battle!”
On the other hand, his teammate Christine GZ - has been participating in other races since the Desert X Prix and says: “I have been competing at an off-road event to keep developing my skills and will be testing alongside my teammate Oli in a range of vehicles before round two of Extreme E. My main goal in Senegal is to have a ton of fun! “
JBXE driver Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, is looking forward to the chance of getting back in the action. She says: “I’m super excited for Senegal! Saudi was a challenge for us as we came in late to the series so we didn't have much time to prepare, but now we have the experience and knowledge from the Desert X Prix and we've been working closely with Lotus Engineering to see what we can do with the car.”
She continues: “Saudi was the first time I’d raced on the sand and it’s going to be sand again in Senegal, although a different course, so I’m really excited to see a new venue and see how the tyres perform as we had a good run with them in Saudi. All in all it is great to have the experience from the first event and I’m looking forward to seeing how the work we have done between then and Senegal will pay off.”
Extreme E's inaugural X Prix draws world audience of 18.7 million
London: Extreme E’s debut X Prix – the Desert X Prix concluded in April at AlUla, Saudi Arabia, and the effect of the race has now been assessed with the broadcast bringing in a cumulative global viewers of 18.7 million, headlining the craze for this new sport for purpose.
The Championship has worked alongside YouGov Sport – global sports, sponsorship and entertainment research company -- to collect data and insight into the viewers of Extreme E’s inaugural event and the report has made for an exciting read.
Overall, the broadcast audience was 18.7 million covering nearly 900 million households in around 180 nations. There were 1,500 plus hours of broadcast coverage as China topped the table followed by Europe and Asia closely.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “We’ve seen a phenomenal success for Extreme E’s first ever event. Our strategy of attracting strong free-to-air partners, and a digital first, always on approach, when combined with our exciting and innovative racing format and a sporting platform with pitted males and females racing equally together created a truly winning combination.
“The diverse nature of Extreme E meant there was plenty of action across the weekend, with some truly memorable performances, with our female driver line-up coming out as clear winners. These numbers demonstrate the massive appeal, not only of our racing format, but also our wider messages around the climate crisis, both of which featured heavily in our broadcast.
“As a sport without spectators on site, these figures are fantastic as they show our broadcast only model really does work to engage people on so many levels, whether that be through broadcast, social or press. We are looking forward to building on these statistics as we continue through Season 1 and bringing the messages of our series around environment, electrification and equality to as many people as possible.”
Frank Saez, Managing Director of YouGov Sport, said: “For a first-time event, these figures are incredibly promising and show that Extreme E has tapped into something that looks to have real potential for growth. When we watched the event, what leapt out immediately was the shareable content it would produce – and that’s exactly what the data has shown. A billion social impressions for an inaugural race tells us that Extreme E could be on to something very special here, especially with the strong broadcast partners they have.”
YouGov Sport also assessed online media articles as over 5,000 were published around the X Prix, totalling the readership of 1.6 billion, with the highest surge seen on the race day itself. The UK and USA were the top countries with regards to readership, with the USA and European nations featuring the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy with the most articles published.
There were over a billion impressions from a social media point of view with an impressive performance especially on TikTok and Facebook.
Extreme E is now fully focussed on delivering its second X Prix at Lac Rose in Dakar, Senegal which will be held from 29-30 May. The action will be available in over 180 nations through more than 60 broadcasters including FoxSports in the USA and Asia, ITV, BBC, Sky Sports and BT Sport in the UK and Eurosport in Europe.
Here's how Extreme E's top 3 teams are preparing for the Ocean X Prix in Senegal
The inaugural Extreme E race in the Saudi Arabian deserts of AlUla last month had Rosberg X Racing (RXR) clinch both the race title and the top spot in the overall standings, with 35 points. Although X44 crossed the finish at the final third, they are currently positioned at the second place in the overall table with 30 points after picking more points in qualifying than Andretti United, who eventually came second in the final and now sit on the third place with 28 points.
With just seven points separating the three teams, the table toppers in a conversation with Extreme E shared insights as to how they’re preparing for the upcoming Ocean X Prix at Lac Rose, Dakar, Senegal from 29-30 May.
Molly Taylor, from RXR says: “To take victory in the first-ever Extreme E event was an amazing achievement. Everyone in the team had worked so hard in the build-up to the event, so for me and Johan to repay them all with the victory felt so special. The beauty of Extreme E is the extra buzz you get from racing for purpose, too, and it’s an even better feeling when you win for purpose!”
After a great victory, the side has spent the last few weeks studying the data taken from the dunes in Saudi Arabia in order to prepare for Extreme E's second X Prix in Senegal, where RXR will attempt to clinch two wins on the trot.
Taylor’s RXR teammate, Johan Kristoffersson, says: “Senegal will be a brand-new challenge for everyone, but that’s one of the greatest things about Extreme E: every event is so unique! Despite the differences, we’ll do our best to improve on our performance in AlUla and aim to be competitive once again.”
When asked if RXR thinks it can keep its position at the top of the table, its Founder Nico Rosberg enthused: “The team did an incredible job in Saudi Arabia to get the win and we’re very proud to be the first X Prix winners in Extreme E history, but we know we need to stay focused if we are to remain at the front. The series is already so competitive, but this team loves a challenge, and we can’t wait to go racing again in Senegal.”
X44 driver pairing Cristina Gutiérrez and Sébastien Loeb had an impressive weekend in Saudi Arabia as they topped the qualifying standings and headed straight through to the first Semi-Final, and by finishing in second place, advanced to the Final. But the side is hoping to win in Senegal.
Sébastien says: “I’m looking forward to racing again in Senegal with Cristina. In the last race obviously there were things that didn’t go our way, but we showed that we’re a very competitive team and that we’re able to get results under pressure.” He continues: “The Ocean X Prix will be a totally new terrain and we have an incredible group of people working with us, so I’m excited to go to Senegal and fight again for a win.”
They have been putting a lot of hard work behind the scenes, analysing the data from the last race to ensure its drivers are well prepared for Lac Rose. The team has been focusing on the all-important start in particular, which proved crucial for the final race position, although Senegal will throw a very different challenge of course.
Cristina added: “I’m really excited to get back in the car and race again in Senegal. Obviously the final race in Saudi didn’t go exactly as planned but we got a great result overall and it put us in a good position in the championship. We learned a lot from the last race and we’re going to take those learnings and make sure that we’re as competitive as possible.” When asked about the programmes off the track, she says: “I’m excited too to visit Extreme E’s legacy projects, and make a positive impact on the planet while we’re there.”
Andretti United is at the third position, who advanced to the Final after clinching the Crazy Race. Catie Munnings certainly proved herself to be a tough competitor after her amazing three-wheel drive after enduring a slow puncture in qualifying.
Catie says: “Saudi Arabia certainly wasn’t plain sailing for us, especially with the puncture but Timmy and I learned so much and to finish second in the Final after a tricky start to the event was just awesome. Now we go into Senegal third in the standings, which is a really strong position to be in. We definitely feel well prepared and ready to apply what we learned from Saudi at the Ocean X Prix – and hopefully score another podium!”
In the final, Andretti was able to choose its starting position as it managed to win the fan-led GridPlay vote after getting support not only from its fans, but also from teams that didn’t qualify for the final, as per the rules that state they can gift their votes.
Ahead of the Senegal event, Timmy Hansen has been busy with his fitness routine, through lots of running, even finishing the Wings for Life Run alongside 160,000 others, virtually to raise funds for spinal cord research. Hansen has also completed some off-road training in the Polaris and supported Catie in her RallyX Nordic debut in Höljes. He also took some time off to celebrate his son Sam’s third birthday.
He says: “I’ve had a productive few weeks continuing with my training, fulfilling some sponsor obligations and also spending a bit of time with my family too. It feels good to strike the right balance. It’s been great having Catie over in Sweden again too - we’ve done a full debrief from Saudi and know the areas where we can improve. We’re both feeling confident going into Senegal with a refreshed state of mind.”
The Ocean X Prix commences on 29 May, and as the all-electric SUVs have been at sea travelling the world on Extreme E's floating centrepiece – the St. Helena; teams won’t be able to start preparing for the race with the cars themselves until they touch down in Senegal.
Extreme E signs deal with Catalonian TV3
London: Extreme E, the innovative electric off-road racing series, has today announced that it has signed an agreement with TV3, the Spanish television network, for airing its entire 2021 season. Catalonia's public broadcasting network TV3, will televisie each of Extreme E’s X Prixs live and free to air in Catalan. TV3’s digital channel, TV3-Televisio will also stream the race coverage.
TV3, which has its headquarters based just outside Barcelona is also the most-viewed station in the area enjoying an impressive 14.6% audience share. Besides, TV3-Televisió, its digital platform, in 2019 was named as Catalonia’s top web channel with regards to user numbers and video views.
The groundbreaking series, Extreme E has already impressed fans around the globe with its amazing series debut in the deserts of Saudi Arabia in April. Aired live to millions of homes, mobiles and tablets, audience were thrilled by the high drama and exciting contest as some of the biggest names of motorsports featuring Carlos Sainz, Sébastien Loeb, Jenson Button, Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson took to the testing conditions of sandy dunes of AlUla in 550bhp ‘ODYSSEY 21’ electric SUVs in a bid for the inaugural Extreme E podium.
The Rosberg X Racing pairing of Kristoffersson and Taylor emerged victorious with a stunning display of skill, speed and tactics to secure their names in a piece of motorsporting history. They were closely followed by Andretti United’s Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen and X44’s Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “Extreme E’s mission to ‘race without trace’ whilst simultaneously raising awareness of climate issues, means it is vital that our series reaches as many audiences on as many platforms as possible throughout the world. Working with TV3 will not only provide up to nine millions viewers in Catalonia with a thrilling and innovative motorsport championship, but also convey the message that we all need to play our part in looking after our planet.”
Extreme E's next X Prix, the Ocean X Prix will be taking place at Lac Rose from 29-30 May.
"I am really excited to be going back to Senegal" - Jutta Kleinschmidt
As Extreme E, the innovative off road racing series heads to Senegal for the Ocean X Prix, Championship Driver, Jutta Kleinschmidt in a press release by Extreme E, spoke about her memories of Dakar and the why the champion driver is looking forward to going back to the place where it all began…
“From the age of six, I had only two obsessions; speed and adventure,” Jutta Kleinschmidt, the first and only Women champion of the infamous, challenging and as the very terrifying, Dakar Rally.
This sense of adventure, along with riding off-road motorbikes, while growing up, paved the way for Jutta to turn up, uninvited, in 1987 to the start line of the Paris to Dakar Rally, not as a participant, but as a follower. This intrepid young woman, for 3 weeks, tagged along behind the official race, riding her motorbike 10,000km through France, Algeria and then the formidable Sahara Desert to Senegal to the wonderful Lac Rose.
Every night, the champion driver would finally appear at the bivouac (camps), tired, relieved and with her tent still just about strapped to her motorbike.
Jutta explains, “By following the rally that year, my aim was to see how it was and I was just so pleased to reach each bivouac each night in one piece, this was one of the biggest adventures for me because I was completely on my own without any technical support.”
She continues, “In a way it was crazy what I did. This was a long time ago, so we didn’t have GPS or mobile phones or any of that…so, if you got lost, you are really lost and there’s no connection at all to civilization. But I made good friends with the competitors - the teams were all really nice - they supplied me in the Bivouac with spare fuel if they had it and even food and also promised to send someone to find me if I didn’t show up at night!”
Having made it to the finish and now with her appetite truly whetted, Jutta entered the rally, officially this time, in 1988. Some years later, and with sponsorship gained through her time in motorbikes, she made the switch from two wheels to entering her first Dakar in a car in 1995 in a female team with co-driver Dagmar Lohmann. When asked what prompted that change, Jutta explains, “I felt like I had done what I wanted to do on bikes, and it came to a point where I wanted to do more and try in a car. I managed to convince my sponsors to continue with me in the change to cars.”
And it was at this point where Jutta felt she was beginning to really master this extraordinary sport that in reality less than 40% of entrants actually go on to even completing.
“It is so hard to dig your car out of the sand!” She exclaims, “It’s incredibly hot and you’re wearing the fireproof overalls, when you were unlucky you would have to dig for an hour or more to get your car free. And that’s where a lot of people get exhausted and why a lot of them give up. And there’s also changing your own wheel during the race. Each one can weigh up to 55 kg. Everybody (yes men too) need to train hard in the gym for that!
“In the beginning when I first entered on a motorcycle, it was my goal to just get to the end of the race and not give up. And I was so happy with that to start with.”
In 2001, with brilliant skill, tenacity and a dash of racing great fortune, She clinched a historic Dakar Rally win – making her the first and only woman ever to have achieved this feat.
When asked about her memories of that momentous win in 2001, Jutta says, “It was truly amazing you know because I’d been dreaming of this since I was a young woman. It was like being on top of a mountain!”
“Having gone from participating all alone with no support, to gradually gaining confidence and getting a bit of sponsorship, to the change to racing in cars to getting a podium and then to actually winning – it was a long journey, but it was worth it!”
It can’t be sidelined that Jutta’s win was not just an extraordinary achievement by anyone’s standards, but it also marked a significant moment for women in this discipline.
Jutta: “Oh for sure it was super because I got a lot of response from both women and men after my win. It was like wow; the men can see we can drive, and the women can also see what’s really possible for them too.”
She continues, “My win was also great as it shone a big light on cross country motorsport for women and gave so much interest in this kind of racing. I love to see women participating in this and to have shown them what they can achieve.”
So, what’s her view on Extreme E’s mandatory ruling that every team has to field a male and female driver in its championship?
Jutta said, ”Oh for sure I can see it’s very positive. It’s good to see these women taking part and also some coming from different areas of motorsport. Men and women racing together in a team and against each other is how motorsport should be, to show the equality between them. It’s also good for cross country racing and hopefully the ones that have not been in the Dakar before might try it as well, now they have raced in Extreme E and see what they can do! I can’t see any disadvantages at all, it’s great for everyone.”
As Extreme E makes its way to Senegal for the Ocean X Prix in a few weeks’ time, how does she feel regarding heading back to the place where it all started for her all those years ago?
She says, “I am really excited to be going back to Senegal. To be honest I have not had a chance to go back since 2007, when the last Dakar was held in this region and actually my last Dakar too, so it’s going to be great to be back there and see how it’s changed. It will feel in a way like coming home as it was a big moment for me winning there and changed many things for me. I still remember so clearly when I passed the finish line in 2001 especially - I am sure a lot of positive emotions will come up again.”
“As far as how it will compare with the Desert X Prix in AlUla, I think Lac Rose will be more technical for the drivers but much less dusty than Saudi Arabia.”
“The Senegalese people, much like the Saudis, are very passionate about motorsport which makes it another great place for Extreme E to be racing. In a sense the people in Senegal still feel a sense that they still ‘own’ the Dakar as it will always be called the Dakar even though it’s not held in their country now – it’s kind of still theirs and they have so much passion for this type of cross-country motor racing because of it.”
Jutta continues, “I think everybody will love the Extreme E cars there too. To see these fantastic electric SUVs performing in such a way, so fast and so exciting to watch - the speed, the jumping, it will be amazing. I can’t wait to get there and work with Timo (Scheider) and the teams and the drivers to make it another fantastic event!”
Extreme E’s Ocean X Prix is scheduled to take place at Lac Rose, Dakar from 29-30 May.
Extreme E's innovative paddock with Airshelta
According to a press release by Extreme E, the innovative racing series in many ways right from electric SUVs to zero emission car charging has been environment conscious but the most unique and challenging part has been the remote locations in which it competes.
The championship recently completed its inaugural X Prix in AlUla, Saudi Arabian desert. Unlike other sporting events, where basic facilities like catering, paddocks, even toilets are all readily available, in case of Extreme E, these facilities are ones that the Championship had to bring in.
To construct the very important paddock – a place where teams can work with their all-electric ODYSSEY 21s – Extreme E enlisted the backing of Airshelta, a world leader in designing, manufacturing and supplying specialised inflatable shelters. It provided the championship with a full, modular working village, that consists of team garages, storage units, canteen structures, the media centre, medical structures and the innovative Command Centre that has blackout screening and serves as the hub of activity during the competition.
Making use of an inflatable shelter has many benefits like reduction in weight, complicated pole systems along with easy and speedy assembly proving to be a unique and sustainable product.
James Taylor, Chief Championship Officer at Extreme E, said: “Creating a motorsport event in the middle of the desert required a very specialist set of suppliers and I’m delighted with how our paddock looked using Airshelta’s innovative structures, which were not only quick to erect, but a sustainable alternative to permanent structures allowing Extreme E to race without a trace.”
Richard Smith, Director of Airshelta Products said: “I am both delighted and proud that Extreme E has selected Airshelta as the official provider of all the onsite, race team and support function facilities, through our inflatable structures. All our products are manufactured in the UK to the highest standards and we are thrilled to be sharing this exciting journey with Extreme E and supporting them through the race series.”
Airshelta, for more than 25 years, has been providing structures to a wide range of emergency response bodies, armed forces, motorsport teams and to other events worldwide.
Extreme E utilised Airshelta's sealed beam structure created from a continuous tube of PVC material, that are inflated either from a 110v or a 240v inflation blower within minutes. The inflation valve closes automatically thus enabling the Sealed Beam Airshelta to stay inflated without needing to constantly refill air. Once it provides the shelters with the robustness needed to withstand the environment conditions which will be faced throughout the race series. Like other temporary constructions the Airshelta’s are safely anchored utilising heavy duty metal stakes or water filled bunds specially crafted keeping Extreme E locations in mind.
The Airsheltas and the championship’s other cargo, have been loaded onto its floating centrepiece , the Wonderful St. Helena and will sail to Senegal for the Ocean X Prix which is scheduled to take place on 29-30 May.
beIN SPORTS bags Middle East & North Africa rights to debut Extreme E season
According to a press release by Extreme E, beIN MEDIA GROUP, the global sports and entertainment group, has acquired the non-exclusive broadcast rights to the debut season of environment-conscious racing series Extreme E in 24 countries in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA).
beIN SPORTS will broadcast live races having the 100 per cent electric motorsport cars, highlight shows along with the series' 20-part magazine programme, Electric Odyssey.
The Extreme E season kick started with the inaugural race in Saudi Arabia on April 3. The Championship will next tour Senegal (May 29-30), Greenland (August 28-29), Brazil (October 23-24) and Patagonia (December 11-12).
By scheduling races in regions that are facing the effects of the climate crisis, like deserts, tropical rainforests and the Arctic, the objective of the championship is to increase viewers’ awareness of climate issues and encourage them to take measures to protect the planet.
With some of the biggest names in motorsport which includes Jenson Button, Sebastien Loeb and Jamie Chadwick - the series guarantees to be an exciting adventure for motorsport lovers in the MENA region.
Duncan Walkinshaw, Director of Programs at beIN MENA said: “We are delighted to broadcast Extreme E to our millions of subscribers all across the Middle East and North Africa. Extreme E is not only committed to raising awareness of climate change, but it is also focused on promoting gender equality and creating a level playing field for all, with 50 percent of its drivers being women. By broadcasting the series, we look forward to shining a spotlight on the inspiring women in motorsport, aligning with the ambition behind our beINSPIRED project.”
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E added: “This is another great broadcaster relationship for Extreme E and I’m delighted beIN Group will be showing our unique sport for purpose.
“Our inaugural X Prix in AlUla, Saudi Arabia was a great success and we can’t wait to continue the race for both our planet and to crown the very first Extreme E champions as we look ahead to our second X Prix – the Ocean X Prix – in Lac Rose, Senegal at the end of May. It is going to a great spectacle for fans across the world.”
beIN entertains and operates in 43 nations in the world, including 24 nations across the MENA.
With 4K and Full HD broadcast on satellite, the beIN experience is also available on computer, mobile, tablet, and other devices via beIN CONNECT.
NEP Group's solution for Aurora, North One and Extreme E tests its metal in some of the world’s toughest conditions
According to a Press release by Extreme E, NEP Group, the premiere technical associate for content producers around the world , worked with the series and host broadcaster Aurora Media Worldwide and North One and created a cutting-edge, sustainable broadcast solution that aired the first race, in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, in 180 nations around the World.
Developed to mirror Extreme E’s goals of integrating the latest technology with sustainability and creating solutions to meet the rigors of the globe's harshest conditions, NEP’s innovative broadcast facilities will be utilized by Aurora and North One at events in Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and Patagonia as the championship continues. NEP’s complete end-to-end broadcast package features a custom IP flypack, remote production solutions, crewing, satellite along with fibre connectivity, edit, ingest, Augmented Reality (AR), Graphics, and specialty cameras.
“Extreme E is a truly world-class event that is highlighting one of the most important challenges facing our planet and bringing it to a new audience in a really innovative way. It has been a thrill to see the solution that NEP, Aurora, North One and Extreme E have created come to life,” says Brian Clark, Director of Sales for NEP Major Events. “What we have created is not only at the very cutting edge of technology, but it also delivers from some of the world’s harshest environments – all during COVID. There were certainly a lot of challenges to overcome, but the result is just fantastic.”
Lawrence Duffy, Managing Director, Aurora Media Worldwide says: “It was so rewarding to see all of the team’s hard work, dedication and ingenuity come to life. It was such a tremendous partnership between all of us – Extreme E, Aurora, North One and NEP – and it has really paid off. This is exactly what we wanted to achieve: a great marriage of sustainability and cutting-edge technology all coming together to create a really exciting production. We can’t wait for the next race.”
Keeping into account the sustainability goals, COVID restrictions, and challenges the remote race locations pose, decreasing the number of staff visiting to site was critical in NEP’s system design. Making use of a specialty IP flypack, NEP, Aurora and North One were successful in connecting every racing venue directly to their new “UHD ready” centralised production facility in London, through satellite. With around 30 different sources present in London, majority of the production team is able to handle record, replay, edit, audio mixing, vision mixing and playout without the need to travel to location. In addition to this, specialty Augmented Reality (AR) and Graphics are handled real time by NEP’s AR / GFX team at their production centre in Hilversum, once again reducing the need for travel.
NEP’s team in The Netherlands built several highly advanced AR and graphics solutions for the broadcast production provided by Aurora and North One. Integrating advanced drone and AR technologies, NEP worked with Extreme E, Aurora and North One to produce amazing results and provide audiences with a completely innovative experience. They also leveraged the AR and drone technologies in tandem with advanced RF solutions to minimize cable runs while still giving maximum and reliable coverage from the cars. This enables one to avoid use of fixed-wing or helicopter solutions, which have a much worse climate impact.
Extreme E extends its reach in South Africa with SABC
According to a press release by Extreme E, the path breaking electric SUV racing series, Extreme E has today announced that South Africa’s SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) will broadcast each five of this year’s X Prix live on its linear channels, SABC1, SABC2, SABC3 and SABC Sport Channel – which kick started with much anticipated debut X Prix which was held in AlUla in Saudi Arabia a couple of weeks ago.
With head offices in Johannesburg, the South African Broadcasting Company (SABC) is one of the country’s largest state-owned aggregates providing 19 radio stations and five television channels in the region.
The broadcast deal means fans in South Africa can witness Extreme E’s exciting race coverage along with its behind-the-scenes magazine show and documentaries like Climate Changers, How to Build a Race Car and Best of Extreme E - all free to air. Besides, Championship's coverage will be available on SABC’s digitals platforms like SABC Sport Portal, Telkom One OTT Platform and OpenView.
South Africa, like many places in the world, faces a host of climate challenges.
Climatically sensitive, the area already suffers from intense air pollution as 77% of the energy generated in the country is procured from coals resulting in vast deforestation which is equivalent to losing 20 football pitches every minute.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “The impacts of climate change can be devastating, and nowhere is that clearer than in this region, where increasing deforestation and heavy use of fossil fuels is threatening an already fragile environment.
“Today’s agreement with SABC will allow Extreme E to reach a huge South African audience with our sport for purpose series. Our championship is so much more than just exciting electric racing, it’s the opportunity to raise awareness of climate change and highlight ways that we can live a less carbon-intensive lifestyle to protect our planet.”
Gary Rathbone, Head of SABC Sport said: “I believe the future of motorsport starts here with Extreme E, and SABC Sport is absolutely thrilled that we will be able to deliver this great new concept to our viewers on our channels. The fact that its’ focus goes way behind merely racing but delves deep into issues around the environment and the future of our planet's ecology makes Extreme E vital viewing in more ways than one.”
Some of the greatest names in motorsport that includes Jenson Button, Jamie Chadwick, Molly Taylor, Sébastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz, will lock horns for victory in ‘Star Wars pod meets Dakar Rally’ style-racing for the second X Prix to be held at Lac Rose, Senegal on 29-30 May. Every event is crafted to not only showcase the advantages of electrification through motorsport, but also to highlight the adverse effects of climate change.
In addition, the Championships makes it mandatory that each of the Extreme E teams must field both a male and female driver, for the first time in the world of motorsport.
The 1780-kilogram 2.3-metre-wide ODYSSEY 21, powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology, can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds at gradients of up to 130 per cent.
Off the course story of Extreme E, the innovative racing championship with a purpose
According to a press release by Extreme E, the brand new electric racing series finished its debut X Prix last weekend at AlUla in Saudi Arabia with Rosberg X Racing as the winners. However, the series believes the real win was what Extreme E did off the course regarding climate change – one of the key drivers behind this one of its kind sport for purpose.
Extreme E is a Championship with a mission, to throw light at the destructive effects of the climate crisis and demonstrate positive measures that can be taken to safeguard the planet. The series has picked five remote locations for its X Prixs, with the first concluded in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, which was selected to highlight desertification, leading to a loss of biological productivity.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “It has been two years in the making, but I’m thrilled that Extreme E’s first X Prix – the Desert X Prix – is complete.
“The weekend delivered on its promise of exciting racing, but more importantly our mission to race without a trace and leave a long-lasting positive impact. I’m very proud of what we have achieved in Saudi Arabia, from our talks on the St. Helena by world-renowned scientists focussing on the global climate crisis and solutions, through to our turtle conservation project with the Ba’a Foundation.
“Extreme E is much, much more than just motorsport and I hope people have taken away from it that the climate crisis is a major issue we are facing right now, and that there are many small actions we can take to save the planet.”
At every racing location, Extreme E will leave a long-lasting positive impact through its Legacy Programmes. In Saudi Arabia, the series collaborated with the Ba’a Foundation to extend its support for turtle conservation along the Red Sea coastline.
The project was disclosed on-board the St. Helena by members from Extreme E’s Scientific Committee, which was then followed by a tour to Ras Baridi - the place where this initiative will be focussed at, where several of the championship’s star drivers including Jenson Button, Sara Price and Jamie Chadwick come together for a beach clean.
Extreme E's floating centrepiece, the wonderful St. Helena, taking a centre stage in the Red Sea, hosted several workshops before the debut X Prix centering not only around the Legacy Programme, but also the broader climate change issue along with the solutions.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
AFC Energy, that provides the championship with hydrogen fuel cell – facilitating the fleet of ODYSSEY 21s to be charged emission-free – made use of the Desert X Prix to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Altaaqa, the operator and owner of one of the world’s biggest mobile diesel generator rental fleets. This will back the transition of the area's power generation industry to zero emission solutions making use of AFC Energy’s hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Many measures were taken to ensure Extreme E would remain the most sustainable event possible, right from zero single-use plastic on-site to communal water stations so reusable bottles could be filled along with sustainable and biodegradable food packaging by Polymateria to even feilding the bin police to make sure the people were recycling properly.
Extreme E Count Us In Challenge
Launched last month, The Extreme E Count Us in Challenge enables fans to take practical measures on climate change to bring down their carbon footprint. In the course of just three weeks, around 300 fans have already pledged to take steps that will help them lead a less carbon-intensive life.
However this leaderboard isn’t just a competition for the planet, as the side having the most number of fans committing their support will be given the Extreme E Sustainability Award at the end of this year, presently X44 is at the top of the table.
Extreme E’s next event, the Ocean X Prix, will be held from 29-30 May at Lac Rose, Senegal, Dakar.