I fumbled my copy of the Wall Street journal from it’s protective wrapper this morning to find a lead story in the Lifestyle section called “The New First Family of Real Estate”. It featured none other than the Ecclestone sisters and their real estate purchases. I read the article, and it’s not the most glowing of stories, and considered the overall fact that two young women with no college education were fortunate enough to have Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone as their father. I then realized that I was, indeed reading an article about Ms. Tamara Ecclestone and her younger sister Petra Stunt (Ecclestone).
In short, I was reading a full spread, two-page story about the Ecclestone’s with quotes from Mr. Ecclestone regarding his daughters purchases. You can read the article here and draw your own conclusions but both daughters bought new homes for a total of $155 million. Both daughters launched immediate renovations that were on radically accelerated time schedules. For perspective, Petra’s home, the former Spelling mansion in Los Angeles, had as many workers (500) on the project as the new Circuit of the Americas has and that’s a $350 million project.
While the article has those typical ultra-rich young girl quotes about “go big or go home” and”I kind of feel like people [in the U.K.] want you to apologize for what you have,” she said. “Petra and I are like, ‘Why should we have to apologize that our father’s this amazing businessman who gave us this great life?'”, it also made me consider the alternate view.
F1 needs coverage, controversy and anything else it can get in America…and then some
Formula 1 is not the largest sport in America. If you strain your eyes really hard, you may find it on the sports radar but as to having mass appeal, it simply doesn’t compare to NASCAR, NFL or MLB for fan interest. In large part, the mass media in America has ignored F1 but not out of spite rather from lack of interest. Stories like these could help that
Few people like reading about spoiled kids spending millions and millions of dollars they inherited but on the flip side, 500 workers in LA and 40 workers in London have been employed to complete renovations and the machine keeps grinding. Like the Ecclestone daughters, Formula 1 continues to employee, build, create and spend and that machine needs all the help it can get in the American mainstream media to gain a foothold on the average sports fan.
Sure, the story is ripe with decadence and out-of-control spending but it is a story and a large, two-page story that talks features a picture of a Ferrari and talks about Formula One in it. It presents F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone as a father who loves his daughters but suggests they are on their own to win or lose and that isn’t his responsibility any longer.
The world’s most popular sport
It talks about F1’s status as the “world’s most popular sport” and that message can’t be delivered often enough to Americaan eyes and ears if Austin and New Jersey are to succeed. If it takes the outrageous exploits of the sisters Ecclestone to get American media to even dedicate one column, let alone a two-page spread, about formula 1, then keep spending girls because I’d like to have your activities continue to mention F1 until Americans finally understand what it is this rare, splinter group of fans in America have been flapping their gums about all these years.
Now I’m no Ecclestone but I think they would have been money ahead to have bought or built a racing circuit and signed a deal with their father for a 30-year contract but that’s just me talking. Could have called it Le’ ManiPedi and given it a real French flair.
I hope Slavica doesn’t rent out her daughters bedrooms any time soon, her daughters may need them when the family trust runs dry. While luxury brands and clutch bags are very cool things, you have to sell a ton of them to cover the cost of $155 million in real estate purchases. Until then, enjoy the very nice, large picture of an F1 car in the Wall Street Journal and send a link to all your friends who haven’t got a clue.