Zoom started with a very simple idea. Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid, authors of Formula 1ís industry monitor Formula Money, realised that although there are many charity auctions in sport they all tend to follow a similar pattern. The items on offer are usually signed photos of the athletes or signed kit that they use. They often raise a great deal of money but despite carrying an autograph, the items tell the buyer little new about the sports star who signed them. Zoom was put in motion to rectify that by turning the tables and asking all the drivers and team principals in F1 to take photographs which would then be signed and put up for auction.
There has never before been an auction of signed photos taken by the stars of any sport and several things were crucial to making it happen. The first was gaining support from the world renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital which has had a long association with F1. It was chosen to receive the proceeds from the auction and it loved the unique concept behind Zoom. Next, Coys, the top motoring auction house agreed to handle the sale and Influence, a leading sport communications and marketing firm, became a partner in Zoom alongside Formula Money.
One of the most important steps in establishing Zoom was the final one and this was getting the support of F1ís chief executive Bernie Ecclestone who Christian has known for a decade. Bernieís support has been invaluable and the participation of all the drivers and team principals soon followed. Such has been the level of interest in Zoom that former F1 drivers and champions, as well as commentators and designers, have also agreed to participate.
All the photographers took to the challenge with gusto. We never expected to get such a diverse group of photos showing both insider views from the track and personal pictures which have nothing to do with racing.
Zoom is on track to be an annual event so it can help a wonderful cause on a regular basis. All the F1 teams, team bosses and drivers have played a key part in making this happen and we sincerely thank them along with everyone else who has donated a photo. We would also like to thank Zoomís partners: Coys, the Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour, TAG Heuer, Kingfisher, Barbarella, Memento Exclusives and Sutton Images as well as ID PRís Alison Hill and Christine Gorham from RKM Communications.
Special thanks need to go to Bernie and Great Ormond Street Hospital. We are proud to be a part of helping them continue with the tremendous work they do.