November 14, 2014

Bernie to young people: screw you, you don't have any money anyway.

And just for just for good measure compares struggling teams to ladies with credit cards.

I'm still reeling from reading the interview Bernie Ecclestone gave to an Asian marketing magazine.   In it, Mr. E makes the argument that chasing a younger audience with social media is pointless because younger kids will not buy the goods and services F1 advertises.
"I'd rather get to the 70-year-old guy who's got plenty of cash. So, there's no point trying to reach these kids because they won't buy any of the products here and if marketers are aiming at this audience, then maybe they should advertise with Disney."
I'll grant Bernie that most 15 year olds don't buy Rolex or investment services but I can guarantee him that at that age, drawing F1 cars in school notebooks was an obsession and running epic Gran Prix with model cars on the imaginary tracks of my bedroom floor consumed many an afternoon, the seeds of a life long passion.

Like many, I did in fact go on to purchase a Rolex and a few other things since as well.

For those who used to believe racing was something beyond just an advertising conveyance method, Ecclestone pities you but not as much as he pities " that poor" Oskar Pistorius...
"This poor guy in South Africa [Oscar Pistorius], for instance, has got more interest because of what happened with him than when he was winning gold medals. He won medals and afterwards nobody thought about him."
As for the recent financial issues of smaller teams, Ecclestone compares the financially troubled teams to "ladies with credit cards"
"Just don't spend as much, These teams don't need to be in financial trouble.  They need to think about what they have to spend and do the best they can with that.  ... It's the same in everyday life, isn't it, really?  It's the same problem with ladies and credit cards."
As if Formula One did not have enough of an image problem already.   


  1. The camera does not do it justice, those roads are narrower than they look. One walk around the back part of the circuit is enough to explain why they have massive pile ups. Most of it isn't even wide enough for two way traffic on normal days.

  2. Bernie's a scumbag :-(

  3. I loved Formula 1. But with this guy in charge, and where we have been in the last few weeks, I just can't find any justification for supporting it anymore. If I were a team, I would be absolutely livid. Without young fans, you have no future. What moron doesn't accept that? RIP F1. Finally the last nail in that coffin has been set...

  4. No wonder F1 was 10 years late to HD broadcasts and is conspicuously missing a method of taking my money over the internet; those are things that only whippersnappers under the age of 50 would care about, and heaven knows there isn't any money in media technology...

  5. The guy is just getting too old. His shit-I-shouldn't-say filter is on its way out, as it is with lots of men his age.

  6. Methinks that Bernie is the problem. Actually, this may just be a ploy to get more people talking about F1, but in reality it's probably just Bernie being a douche canoe.

  7. Just joining us for some troll bashing? Bernie 101 would have taught you that he never really had this filter you speak of in the first place.

    When it comes to his money and this sport, he has and will say just about anything.

  8. I bet all the teams that thought about boycotting in Austin are kicking themselves now.

  9. What a piece of work. F1 is one of the only sports where basic prize money isn't nearly enough to play.

    Just last night I ran into someone who, without following F1 for the last 20 years, knew instantly from my description where the problem lies. He quickly drew a comparison I've seen elsewhere...

    In the NFL we've got teams like, I dunno, the Oakland Raiders (they're still around, I think). They haven't been a winning team on the national level in years. Yet they continue to play because the money they get from the sport covers their operating costs.

    Same could be said of any of the NBA and MLB teams out there that aren't often talked about in the post-season most years. I'm not a fan of any of the stick-and-ball sports for the most part so I can't honestly give good examples but I'm thinking of team like the White Sox and Oakland A's (for some reason I want to list the Brewers and Pirates but I honestly don't know if those teams exist anymore).

    The point is, those smaller shit teams are still around, filling out the bottom half the the brackets, and aside from the stadiums and local dollars poured into these ventures they're mostly self-sustaining from the shared sport revenues. Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars keep playing (and soaking the town for more money for their stadium) despite being consistently crappy and rarely playing well against the more successful teams...BUT YOU DON'T SEE THE NFL FOLKS TELLING THEM OFF BECAUSE THEY SUCK. No, they get enough money to fill those brackets and the airtime.

    The idea that these smaller teams should have somehow spent less is preposterous and anybody with one working eyeball can clearly see trouble with this position. In all the coverage over the last few weeks we've gotten a fair idea about how these teams work and spend, and when the engine deals they have to sign just know....get down the flippin track...are more than half the money they get from FOM, something is wrong. Of course they'll never share exact numbers but if $50million of your $100mil budget is spent on engines that leaves not a whole lot left to get the rest of the car in shape and pay the guys who put it together.

    This is a parallel conversation to one we often find in politics, usually in the south, where there is a vilification of anybody who needs a little help to get through. Those at the top, the ones with the money, refuse to see the benefits of breaking off a tiny slice to keep their neighbors from suffering unnecessarily. We're not talking about taking everything and handing it to the poors, you know, we're just trying to have some common sense when the system is clearly skewed to benefit the already comfortable.

    Finally, nobody wants to watch moving chicanes with advertising on the sides, so we can understand how losing the backmarkers could be desirable from a certain promotions perspective but once again we see where a decent, reasonable distribution of the money could remove the issue by making them more competitive.

  10. The problem is that the young "small" team was a Bernie idea.
    And he attracted these teams with the reduced cost as the engines were freezed and all of the develop will go to the aero / chassis.

    That is why he lure also to Cosworth to build a cheap v8 engine for these team.

    With the new engine rules... all this went to hell and now he does not care because he has Ferrari / Mercedes and Renault... for now.

    Still I think it will attract more people is they leave the engineers to develop what ever they want without a freeze.

  11. For starters, this shows a frightening lack of business sense. If I was a board member of CVC or other major shareholder, I would be asking for his resignation within minutes of reading this.

    It seems as if he has no knowledge of who the most economically powerful individual purchasing demographic in the world is: Single people ages 18 - 39 (see the sales figures and who buys what for movies, music, computer hardware, etc.). Not to mention the patently obvious idea that young, middle income people grow up to old, richer people.

    Also, if I was Red Bull, I would be fuming over this. How many old rich guys buy their product.

    However, it is also worth noting that most F1 (and other motorsports) sponsorship is aimed at the B-to-B market, not the consumer, end user market. So from ~that~ perspective, Bernie's main market ~is~ older rich white guys that sell billions in services to other older rich white guys.

  12. Another thing concerning the whole idea of "they're small backmarker teams, who cares?".

    Apart from Ferrari, which one of the teams currently competing started out ~other~ than as a small, make up the numbers backmarker team?

    When Ron Dennis took over McLaren, they were within days of going bankrupt. Frank Williams was called "Wanker" Williams for years because his team was about as competitive as Caterham.

    Other than Ferrari, every team on the grid today started out as a small, struggling team and grew into the McLarens, Williams and RBRs we have today.

  13. Part of the problem is that liquor and cigarette advertising has been banned. That always was geared to the cash-poor consumer. So you're not really getting the b2c advertising right now. I mean, it's great that Petronas is a sponsor but what the hell is a Petronas? (I Know what it is, but you know what I mean). I actually don't think Bernie's the problem -- he's always in the news which is good for the sport, I think.

    I feel like there's got to be a way to keep costs down, but at some point you're going to have to take a technological step backward. I suppose you could impose a spending cap but that's just going to encourage cheating. I guess the end result could be something like nascar, where speeds are where they were in the 1970s and the cars are really primitive. But the racing's good if you like roundy round.

    I won't say I'm over F1 but I get more pleasure now out of watching WTCC or even Ferrari Challenge or Porsche Cup, just because the competition is better.


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