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The Empire State Building Partners with WhatsApp and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team to Produce Dynamic Light Show, Fifth Avenue Demo Run, Exclusive Pop-Ups, and More

Festivities included appearances by Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff to the world-famous Empire State Building Observatory and a never-before-seen F1 car demonstration down Fifth Avenue

The Empire State Building (ESB) today unveiled a street-to-Observatory takeover for fans in New York City, in partnership with WhatsApp, that featured an appearance from Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team driver Lewis Hamilton, to celebrate WhatsApp’s rapid growth in the United States, dynamic light show, and a street-side F1 car demonstration down New York City’s iconic Fifth Avenue. The chance for F1 fans to participate continues this week with an exclusive opportunity to see firsthand iconic Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team cars and an immersive emoji experience.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Festivities included appearances by Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff to the world-famous Empire State Building Observatory and a never-before-seen F1 car demonstration down Fifth Avenue (Photo: Business Wire)

Festivities included appearances by Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff to the world-famous Empire State Building Observatory and a never-before-seen F1 car demonstration down Fifth Avenue (Photo: Business Wire)

“We are thrilled to use the Empire State Building’s authentic, international voice and for our Observatory to play host to the highest gathering of Mercedes-AMG F1 fans as we welcome guests to experience up-close viewings of the team’s cars and interactive WhatsApp emoji displays at the world-famous Empire State Building Observatory,” said Jean-Yves Ghazi, president of the Empire State Building Observatory. “It is great to welcome Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff to this WhatsApp partnership, only at the Empire State Building Observatory Experience,” he continued.

ESB in the Grand Prix

On April 29, ESB debuted a dynamic WhatsApp x Mercedes-AMG F1 race in lights that featured the brand-new emoji race car. The new emoji car zipped through lower Manhattan in a competitive race with other emoji cars and highlighted famous New York City neighborhoods and Emoji-Yorkers decorated around WhatsApp message bubbles. The light display looped on the south side façade from 8:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Lewis Hamilton, driver for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team along with CEO and Team Principal, Toto Wolff visited the Empire State Building earlier that day to tour the world-famous Observatory Experience and flip the ceremonial switch ahead of the dynamic light show.

Race Through NYC

Earlier this morning, seven-time World Champion Hamilton delighted fans by driving down Fifth Avenue between 35th and 33rd Street in a 2021 Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E PERFORMANCE. The Brit piloted the W12 to eight Grand Prix victories as the team secured that year’s World Constructors’ Championship.

“I’ve always felt a special connection with the United States,” said Hamilton. “I remember going to New York as a kid and dreaming about living in the city and I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time here since then. I’ve had many incredible experiences and connected with many amazing people in New York, but to drive an F1 car down Fifth Avenue and light up the Empire State Building is incredibly special. It’s something I never thought would be possible and it’s been even better to do it in partnership with WhatsApp, an app that keeps my connection to the US alive by making it easy to stay in touch with so many people stateside.”

Welcome to the Paddock

The Empire State Building’s iconic Fifth Avenue Lobby windows now feature special 2D and 3D emoji-themed designs that depict scenes of a Formula 1 garage loaded with tools, tech, and stickers. The window exhibit will remain on display until May 7.

Visitors to the Empire State Building Observatory can view a life-size emoji car and pit stop on the building’s 80th floor. The WhatsApp and Mercedes-AMG F1 branded engineering station will feature versions of the technology that goes into Formula 1 car maintenance. Audio will emulate the noises of a fully functioning F1 car crew. The Empire State Building’s 80th floor will also be adorned with Mercedes-AMG F1 memorabilia which includes three Formula 1 trophies, driver overalls, boots, gloves, and helmet.

Once guests reach the iconic 86th Floor Observatory, fans can pose inside a WhatsApp chat with ESB’s unmatched New York City views as a backdrop and can view a Mercedes-AMG F1 W14 E PERFORMANCE show car, until May 7.

The Empire State Building Observatory recently underwent a $165 million reimagination that included the addition of a dedicated visitor entrance, an immersive museum with nine galleries, brand-new, bespoke Observatory Host uniforms, and a new 102nd Floor Observatory with unmatched view. The reimagined Observatory Experience was recently voted the number one attraction in the U.S. by Tripadvisor travelers for two consecutive years.

Text CONNECT to 274-16 to receive real-time information about the Empire State Building’s tower lights.

Hi-res imagery and video can be found here. More information about the Empire State Building can be found online.

About the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building, the “World's Most Famous Building," owned by Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (ESRT: NYSE), soars 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan from base to antenna. The $165 million reimagination of the Empire State Building Observatory Experience creates an all-new experience with a dedicated guest entrance, an interactive museum with nine galleries, and a redesigned 102nd Floor Observatory with floor-to-ceiling windows. The journey to the world-famous 86th Floor Observatory, the only 360-degree, open-air observatory with views of New York and beyond, orients visitors for their entire New York City experience and covers everything from the building's iconic history to its current place in pop culture. The Empire State Building Observatory Experience welcomes millions of visitors each year and was declared "America's Favorite Building" by the American Institute of Architects, the world's most popular travel destination by Uber, the #1 attraction in the US for the second year in a row in Tripadvisor’s 2023 Travelers’ Choice Awards: Best of the Best, and the #1 New York City attraction in Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel List.

Since 2011, the building has been fully powered by renewable wind electricity, and its many floors house a diverse array of office tenants such as LinkedIn and Shutterstock, as well as retail options like STATE Grill and Bar, Tacombi, and Starbucks. For more information and Observatory Experience tickets visit or follow the building's Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, Weibo, YouTube, or TikTok.

Source: Empire State Realty Trust

Category: Observatory


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