F1 supremo believes high-end sponsors don’t appeal to teenagers because they haven’t got enough money to buy what the sport promotes

F1 supremo feels that F1’s high-end sponsors don’t appeal to teenagers because they haven’t got enough money to buy what the sport promotes

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The Independent Online

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes the sport appeals more to 70-year-olds than the “young generation” because they have the money to invest in F1’s sponsors such as Rolex watches and world banking.

84-year-old Ecclestone has been quoted in a wide-ranging interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific magazine that covers all things from F1 to social media and even Oscar Pistorius.

Highlighting the target audience that F1 caters for, Ecclestone claimed that teenagers were not interest in the high-end sponsors that are currently promoted, and that he would rather attract the interest of high-earners that are of an older generation.

“Young kids will see the Rolex brand but are they going to go and buy one? They can’t afford it,” said Ecclestone. “Or our other sponsor UBS – these kids don’t care about banking. They haven’t got enough money to put in the bloody banks anyway. That’s what I think.


“I don’t know why people want to get to the so-called ’young generation’. Why do they want to do that? Is it to sell them something? Most of these kids haven’t got any money. 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.”

Ecclestone then turned his attentions to the craze of social media, and admitted that despite attempting to understand what the likes of Twitter and Facebook offered, he saw “no value” in it.

“I’m not interested in tweeting, Facebook and whatever this nonsense is,” said Ecclestone. “I tried to find out but in any case I’m too old-fashioned. I couldn’t see any value in it.

“And I don’t know what the so-called ’young generation’ of today really wants. What is it? You ask a 15 or 16-year-old kid ’what do you want’ and they don’t know. The challenge is getting the audience in the first place.”

Despite Ecclestone yet to be converted to the world of social media, every F1 team now employs specialist social media workers to help push the team as a brand. Drivers are also hugely proactive in engaging with fans, and that includes the older experienced drivers such as Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

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Turning to matters on the grid, or factually speaking off it given Marussia and Caterham’s absence from the last two grand prix’s in the United States as Brazil, Ecclestone said that teams should not be struggling as they know how much they should be spending to stay within budget.

“These teams don’t need to be in financial trouble. They need to think about what they have got to spend and do the best they can with that ... it’s the same problem with ladies and credit cards.”