How to become a Creative Services Manager in F1 – Qualifications, skills & more

We spoke to Haas F1 Team's Ryan Long to find out what a Creative Services Manager does, how to become one, and what skills you need for the job.

How to become a Creative Services Manager in F1 – Qualifications, skills & more

Formula 1 is world famous for science, numbers and data, but that doesn’t mean there’s no place for creativity. There are plenty of creative roles in F1 and to find out more about them we spoke to Ryan Long – Creative Services Manager at Haas F1 Team – to find out what a creative role in a Formula 1 team looks like, what skills you need to become one, and how you can get the experience needed to get your foot in the door.

What is your role?

I’m essentially a one-man creative team, responsible for all things visual for Haas F1 Team.

What are your responsibilities and main jobs?

My responsibilities include leading the creative process for car livery, driver suits, mechanics suits, team kit, the garage, transporters, social media graphics, infographics, video editing, print and promotional materials, PR and communication materials, sponsorship proposal, sales decks, special events, marketing initiatives, and whatever else comes up!

How do you become a Creative Services Manager?

You can start as an entry-level graphic designer anywhere – could be at an agency, or as part of an in-house design team. From there it’s all about learning the job, building your portfolio, and looking for opportunities to advance or transition to a role in motorsports.

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, in the pits

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, in the pits

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

What qualifications do you need?

Experience and a strong portfolio are crucial. Unlike some jobs, there’s no “certificate” that says you are a good designer, so you need to let your work speak for itself.

What should you study in school?

Typically, one would have a degree in graphic design or visual communications design, but I’m not a great example for that – my degree is in architecture. Some sort of design education would be expected, but again a strong portfolio proving your skills is more important than where you went to school. While in school, it would be a great idea to get involved as a creative intern with the school’s sports teams (especially in the US, where college sports are huge) or Formula SAE or Formula Student.

What other skills are useful?

It helps to have some knowledge of the field you are looking to work in, but in my experience, huge motorsports fans don’t always make great motorsports workers. You don’t want someone more interested in the driver walking by than doing their job. I could teach pretty much any good designer about the specifics of motorsports, so I’d pick design chops over F1 knowledge if I was hiring a designer.

How can I get work experience?

The good thing about being a graphic designer looking at motorsport is that you can always freelance! Start at the lowest levels: try to get jobs at your local short track, kart track, or in a development series designing driver cards, helmets, liveries, or whatever else you can. You’ll make some money and if you do good work, you’ll start to develop a name for yourself and you can move up into bigger series just like the drivers do.

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Do you get to go to races?

I usually travel a few times a year tops. I always go to pre-season testing where we do a lot of video and photo content capture, and that’s also a good time to check on everything and make final tweaks before for the start of the season. Beyond that, I may go to a couple of races a year depending on what’s happening there. If there’s a big sponsor video project or a big branding change taking place around a certain race weekend, I’ll try to be there to make sure it all goes smoothly.

What does a day at work look like for a Creative Services Manager?

Typically, I’m in the office from at least 08:30 – 17:30 and in front of my computer all day, aside from any meetings. During the race season I have a checklist of things I need to do for each race weekend, like PR email graphics and a full set of social media graphics for each grand prix. Beyond that, I’m largely just reacting to the needs of the team, which keeps me pretty busy.

Like all race teams, we do a lot of sponsorship proposals, so there’s plenty of time spent doing mock-ups of what a company’s logo would look like on the car or race suits or team kit.

In the off-season it’s a little more hectic as we’re redesigning everything at once, and the requirements for that can be constantly changing based on sponsor changes. Hours can be a lot longer in the off-season, as the deadlines are pretty firm to have everything ready for the new season.

This article was created in partnership with Motorsport Jobs. Find the latest jobs in motorsport, as well as jobs with the Haas F1 Team, on the Motorsport Jobs website.

shares
comments

Related video

What F1 must do for Belgian GP fans after Spa farce

Previous article

What F1 must do for Belgian GP fans after Spa farce

Next article

Autosport Podcast: Belgian GP review

Autosport Podcast: Belgian GP review
Load comments
The ill-fated Italian ace rendered an outsider at Ferrari Plus

The ill-fated Italian ace rendered an outsider at Ferrari

Anointed as Italy’s next great racing hero after the tragic death of Alberto Ascari, Luigi Musso was pushed out of favour at Ferrari by Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a troubled soul…

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2021
The magic moments of modern racing's foremost all-rounder Plus

The magic moments of modern racing's foremost all-rounder

From Champ Car to Formula 1, NASCAR, back to IndyCar and now plying his trade in sportscars, Juan Pablo Montoya's career is remarkable for its versatility. Here, the Colombian reflects on 10 of his most significant moments along the way

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2021
Why F1’s best-sounding car flattered to deceive Plus

Why F1’s best-sounding car flattered to deceive

Matra’s MS120 married rocket technology to an engine which sputtered out far too often. STUART CODLING examines how the championship-winning constructor’s ambitious project to build car and engine under one roof came to fail

Formula 1
Oct 1, 2021
Why Perez won't be broken by his latest F1 disappointments Plus

Why Perez won't be broken by his latest F1 disappointments

It has been a tricky past few races for Sergio Perez. The Red Bull driver has mustered just 16 points since the British Grand Prix in July and the team's constructors' championship chances have taken a hit. Yet the Mexican remains optimistic that he has all the tools he needs to turn his performances around

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2021
How Sainz turned crash streak into his best Ferrari F1 weekend so far Plus

How Sainz turned crash streak into his best Ferrari F1 weekend so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz Jr was one of the stars of the 2021 Russian Grand Prix. But he came into the weekend with a streak of recent crashes hanging over him. Here’s how the Ferrari newcomer worked to overcome those setbacks and deliver yet more success for his new team

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2021
The mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling Plus

The mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling

The technical directive issued by Formula 1 to reduce levels of automation in pitstops has given teams an unwelcome period of adjustment. Although safety was the primary goal, it has already had a significant impact on the title race and puts extra pressure on teams to deliver as the season reaches the business end

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2021
How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1 Plus

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1

Uncertainty over the shape of the calendar doesn’t just vex the fans and the commercial rights holder. MARK GALLAGHER explains at how race promoters have been pushed to the financial brink

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2021
Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021