Branson is the epitomy of creating value through leveraging opportunities. While he takes risks, they are calculated ones – hence the $400,000 dip of the toe in the water before writing the $20M+ cheque. For $400,000 he got a lot of publicity – which I am sure he planned on getting even if the drivers didn’t win.
He puts his business into positions where he can leverage off new ideas, which helps him create value. But he also manages his perception. Many analysts have commented on the struggles of his local business Virgin Blue, but Branson always gives the perception of tageting something much bigger than what he actually is. And thereby creating many opportunities to partner with other businesses and bring visibility and branding to an otherwise little known operation. After all who, other than F1 aficionado’s had ever heard of Brawn GP? After this weekend most of Melbourne has had the name flashed in front of them several times.
That is leveraged co-promotion at its best!