Ecclestone: No point chasing young fans
14 November 2014 – Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says there is "no point" in trying to reach out to a younger generation of fans, claiming that they are the wrong type of audience for the sport's established sponsors.
Amid declining television figures, F1 has faced calls to adopt a greater presence on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to better engage with young fans.
But Ecclestone reckons such a move would be a waste of time, the 84-year-old holding the belief that youngsters are of little value to F1 as a whole.
"I'm not interested in tweeting, Facebook and whatever this nonsense is," Ecclestone explained in an interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific magazine.
"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."
"If you have a brand that you want to put in front of a few hundred million people, I can do that easily for you on television," Ecclestone added, when asked about the value of attracting a younger audience.
"Now, you're telling me I need to find a channel to get this 15-year-old to watch Formula 1 because somebody wants to put out a new brand in front of them? They are not going to be interested in the slightest bit.
"Young kids will see the Rolex brand, but are they going to go and buy one? They can't afford it. 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."