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From our Depsters January 10, 2020

Life in the fast lane

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With amazing projects around every corner, it’s no wonder that Dept is considered to be a great place to work. When the opportunity arose to uplift Formula E’s digital presence, Tiago expressed his eagerness in lending a helping hand and providing his expertise on this project. This is because he has accumulated racing experience and knowledge since he was a youngster. With the FIA Formula E championship coming up to its fifth season, it’s still a relatively new racing series similar to the more renowned Formula 1.

Tiago, along with his brother João, are both huge racing fans, especially of Formula 1. The duo was hugely involved in the racing scene during their youth, racing both go-karts as well as formulas every weekend. However, a racing career was not meant to be: “Sadly, it’s a very expensive sport and we didn’t have the resources to pursue it further”, explains Tiago. “If you want to reach something in the racing world, you need to have the financial backing.” Thus, he became an obvious choice to manage the project given his knowledge of the sport in terms of how racing works and fan expectations.

“For me, it’s been a huge opportunity to work on a project that I really love”

After Formula E commissioned Dept to come up with a new vision for their digital presence online, the team gathered to brainstorm. Over the course of four days, they had come up with a new proposal to revamp the current app and website in order to win the race against the other competing agencies. Dept’s goal was to uplift Formula E’s digital presence to the same level of greatness as the racing series itself, which is presently seen as the holy grail of innovation within motorsports. That is what the team wanted to achieve together while creating and developing innovative products in order to make the experience round on every touchpoint for both fans at home and at the race track. After presenting an AR concept, allowing fans to follow the cars throughout the race and see driver standings via a 3D track, the client was charmed. As Tiago talked about the pitch, a grin appeared as he described Dept’s victory lap: “We won the pitch and celebrated with some hugs and high fives, we were very excited about it.” 

“Given that Formula E is all about innovation and green energy, they were charmed by the fact that we went that far into the future of race broadcasting”

Formula E is such an interesting instalment of motorsport that official partners such as Allianz, DHL and Michelin are already involved. Moreover, with manufacturers such as Audi and Nissan participating along with Mercedes and Porsche joining the series for the 2019-2020 season, it’s a real melting pot of big players. “This represents a huge opportunity for Dept to exploit and that’s why this is such a great investment. If we do a good job with uplifting Formula E’s digital presence, one of those companies might be impressed and get in touch with us for another project”, said Tiago. 

Having been given the green light to push on with the project, Tiago and the team have had exiting meetings whilst discussing how they would show the 3D grid, driver rankings, driver page as well as attending races in Rome and in New York for user testing.  As he explains: “It’s super interesting because it’s something I love. As an employee, it makes me really happy because it makes work fun and you really enjoy what you are doing.” He continued by saying: “Dept has been really supportive of the whole project and understanding when things weren’t going as planned. But also, they know that they’ve got an incredible pool of talent. To do a good job, you also need the knowledge and that’s where both the team and I came in and shared our expertise about the sport.”

As the chequered flag falls marking the end of the article, one thing that Tiago’s experience has taught us is that you shouldn’t be afraid to show your interest in a certain topic, sport, event or hobby. As one day, you might get the chance to work on one of them!

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