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经济学人:F1能否继续传奇?

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Business.

商业。
Formula One.
一级方程式赛车。
Flagged down.
落马。
Can Formula One succeed without Bernie Ecclestone?
没有了伯尼•埃克莱斯顿,F1能否继续传奇?
BERNIE ECCLESTONE, the boss of the Formula One Group, rarely sticks around for the finish of a Grand Prix. This is meant to show what a serious businessman he is. Still, eyebrows lifted when he didn't turn up at all to last weekend's race at Hockenheim in Germany. An ongoing court case in Germany over a payment of $44m from Mr Ecclestone to a banker who was involved in the sale of Formula One to CVC Capital, a private-equity firm, in 2005 has put his future at the top of the sport in doubt. German media reported that, had Mr Ecclestone gone to Germany, he might have run into trouble.
F1的掌门人伯尼•埃克莱斯顿很少会在国际汽车大奖赛结束后逗留。这意在显示他是一个谨慎的商人。然而公众的对他上周一直没有出现在德国霍根海姆大奖赛一事依旧表示惊讶。在2005年,参与CVC资产合作伙伴公司(一家私募股权公司)收购F1股份的银行高管承认收到了埃克莱斯顿4千4百万“好处费”,这件正在审理的案子让伯尼在此项运动上掌门地位受到质疑。德国媒体报道称,如果埃克莱斯顿去了德国,他将陷入困境。
For CVC Capital, the uncertainty over Mr Ecclestone, who is 81, is becoming a problem. CVC took a huge risk in buying into the sport, at a time when several teams were threatening to break away and form a new outfit, in the hope of extracting a larger share of profits. The breakaway never happened and CVC profited handsomely.
对于CVC资产合作伙伴公司来说,81岁埃克莱斯顿的不可靠将成为最大的问题。CVC为收购F1管理公司承担了巨大的风险,因为为在当时有数支车队为了争取更大的利润分成,威胁退出F1另组建新赛事。车队退赛没有发生,CVC也赚得漂亮的一手。
CVC had hoped to reduce its stake with an initial public offering (IPO) of Formula One on the Singapore stock exchange. However, in May it sold a total of 21% of the sport, for $1.6 billion, to three institutional investors: Waddell & Reid and BlackRock, both American asset managers, and Norges Bank Investment Management, Norway's state money manager. Combined with cash from the business, the sale gave CVC a tasty 300% return on its original investment-though an IPO could have earned it more. In June CVC postponed the proposed IPO, blaming market conditions.
CVC本打算通过在新加坡证券交易所为F1首次公开募股的方式减持股份。但是在五月,CVC将16亿美元即总资产的21%卖给了三个团体投资人:同为资产管理者的Waddell & Reid和黑石,还有挪威银行投资管理——挪威的国家资金管理者。尽管公开募股会赚的更多,结合从营销中获得的现金,出售给团体投资人还是带给了CVC为原有投资300%的高额回报。在6月,CVC归咎于市场行情,推迟了原有计划的公开募股。
Private-equity firms do not often have to deal with chaps like Mr Ecclestone, who has dominated the sport for decades. In 2009 CVC had to join an apology made by Mr Ecclestone for seeming to praise Adolf Hitler. Also that year Sir Martin Sorrell, the boss of WPP, an advertising giant, who sits on the Formula One Group's board, protested when Mr Ecclestone complained that a life ban from Formula One given to Flavio Briatore, Renault's team chief, for ordering a driver to crash, was excessive (The ban was overturned in 2010).
私募股权公司不需要经常与像埃克莱斯顿这样献身于F1数十载的老伙计进行交易。在2009年CVC不得不参与到埃克莱斯顿关于自己表扬希特勒的言论的道歉中。在同一年中,WPP,这个广告业巨头的总裁、F1董事会成员之一苏铭天爵士,对埃克莱斯顿的抱怨表示反对,因为埃克莱斯顿认为认为对于雷诺车队队长弗拉维奥?布里亚托利操纵车手故意撞车被终生禁止参与F1任何赛车事务的处置太过分了(这项禁令于2010年废除)。
Now CVC is waiting to see whether Mr Ecclestone will be charged in connection with the case involving the German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky. On June 27th Mr Gribkowsky was found guilty in Munich of receiving corrupt payments, and given a prison sentence, which he is now appealing. According to people close to the sport, if the German authorities charge Mr Ecclestone with a non-trivial offence in relation to the payment to Mr Gribkowsky, (which he has admitted making, though he says he was being blackmailed), he will be permanently removed as chief executive of Formula One Group.
现在CVC正在作壁上观,看埃克莱斯顿是否因与德国银行家Gerhard Gribkowsky 受贿案关联而被控诉。7月27日,Gribkowsky被查出于慕尼黑受贿,已被判入狱,但他现在正在申诉。根据体育圈的人说,如果德国当局对埃克莱斯顿给Gerhard Gribkowsky行贿一事判他严重犯罪(行贿一事埃克莱斯顿已经承认),就算他声称自己是被勒索,他也将永久被剥夺F1首席执行官的职位。
CVC's managing partner, Donald Mackenzie, is said to be worried about how his possible departure might affect the business. The Formula One Group depends on reaching agreement with a dozen racing teams and the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, which regulates racing. In the past Mr Ecclestone has handled the teams brilliantly, using divide-and-rule tactics to prevent any serious rebellion and to keep a large share of revenues for his firm. He maintains close relations with circuit owners and governments, which together make up the sport's largest source of revenue, in the form of hosting fees. It is not obvious who inside the business could succeed him; Mr Ecclestone reportedly jokes that a number two could send faxes and bring coffee, but nothing else.
CVC的合伙人之一麦肯齐,据说他很担心埃克莱斯顿可能的离开对商业带来的影响。F1的正常运转离不开12支参赛车队的合作以及负责管理赛车项目的国际汽车联合会的支持。在过去的日子里,埃克莱斯顿运筹帷幄,运用分而治之的策略杜绝任何违规行为并为自己的公司保持巨大的收益。赛道所有者和政府以主办的形式为整个赛事的收益投入巨资,埃克莱斯顿则与这些人保持着紧密的联系。目前在赛车圈内尚未发现合适继任者;埃克莱斯顿据报道有过这样的玩笑话:二把手可以发传真可以买咖啡,但是除了这些也没什么别的能耐了。
Bernie's blinkers

伯尼的马失前蹄

Mr Ecclestone is a skilled dealmaker; but he has missed out on two areas of opportunity for the sport. The first of these is the internet. Formula One has barely begun to develop its business online. Licensing Formula One brands and content to video-games firms could generate pots of money, as could online betting.
埃克莱斯顿是个经验丰富的交易商,但他在这项运动的两个方面错失良机。第一个是网络;F1基本没有开发其商业网络,向电子游戏公司出售F1品牌商标和赛事相关内容的使用权可以带来大量的金钱收入,媲美网上投注。
Second, Formula One has failed to establish itself in America, despite corporate sponsors' need for exposure in the world's biggest market. Partly because of the steep fees that Mr Ecclestone charges to host a Grand Prix, circuits often end up losing money and stop hosting the event; there has been no American race for the past five years. That will soon change, with Austin, Texas, hosting a race in November and plans for a Grand Prix in New Jersey in June 2013. Red Bull, a team owned by an Austrian energy-drinks firm, is said to be looking at launching a new “Stars and Stripes” Formula One team with American drivers. Local drivers boost audiences.
第二则是尽管赞助商需要在这个世界最大的市场中露面,F1还是没有进军美国。一部分是由于埃克莱斯顿所需举办大奖赛的经费逐年攀升,赛道所有者往往赔本最终停止举办比赛——美国已经在过去的五年没有举办了。这即将发生改变,德州的奥斯汀市将在11月举办比赛并计划将于2013年6月在新泽西举办大奖赛。由澳大利亚功能饮料公司所有的车队红牛,据说将成为一个由美籍车手参与的新“星条旗”车队,本地的车手则会增加观众的数量。
Although losing Mr Ecclestone may not be as big a car crash as some fear, there are other risks for the company that sits atop the sport. The biggest is that the teams will demand more money. Without them, after all, there is no show, and they are the sport's biggest cost. Over time, the racers have claimed an ever larger slice of the cake. In 2003 the teams collectively commanded an estimated 27% of the profits that Formula One derived from its three main businesses (hosting fees from governments, selling television rights, and advertising and sponsorship). In a new deal that lasts until 2020, now signed by nearly all of the teams, they will get 63%.
尽管失去了埃克莱斯顿可能不会像撞车那么让人害怕,然而其他的风险对于该公司来说则比比赛本身更重要。最大的问题就是车队会索取更多的利润分成。毕竟没有这些车队,那就没有比赛可言,但他们是整个赛事中花费最大的。随着时间的推移,参赛者要求分到的蛋糕越来越大块。2003年,车队总共要求的经费大约占F1从三大主要商业项目(政府的主办费,电视直播的版权和赞助商的广告费)收益的27%。在一项持续至2020年,现在所有车队几乎都签署了的新交易中,他们将分到收益的63%。
And some people wonder if Formula One can carry on charging governments so much to host races. By expanding outside traditional markets in Europe, Formula One has been able to keep raising its fees; non-European governments such as Singapore's or India's pay two-fifths more on average to host Grands Prix than traditional markets. For now, demand from governments comfortably exceeds the number of racing slots available. Mr Ecclestone has no shortage of calls from countries such as C?te d'Ivoire and Bulgaria seeking the prestige of hosting a race. Soon, however, they may be calling someone else.
有些人怀疑F1还能否继续像现在这样向政府收取大量承办费用。通过跳出欧洲传统市场进行扩张,F1已经可以持续不断地募集经费;非欧洲国家政府例如新加坡和印度,相比传统市场平均支付了举办大奖赛费用的五分之二。目前,政府的需求远大于已有可用于比赛的赛道数量。埃克莱斯顿呼吁像科特迪瓦和保加利亚这样,试图通过举办比赛增加威望的国家毫无压力。不过不久之后,这些国家可能要联系其他人了。

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apology [ə'pɔlədʒi]

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n. 道歉;勉强的替代物

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stock [stɔk]

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n. 存货,储备; 树干; 血统; 股份; 家畜

 
formula ['fɔ:mjulə]

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n. 公式,配方,规则;代乳品
adj. (赛

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exposure [iks'pəuʒə]

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n. 面临(困难),显露,暴露,揭露,曝光

 
available [ə'veiləbl]

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adj. 可用的,可得到的,有用的,有效的

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initial [i'niʃəl]

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n. (词)首字母
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corrupt [kə'rʌpt]

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adj. 腐败的,堕落的
vt. 使 ...

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traditional [trə'diʃənəl]

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adj. 传统的

 
rebellion [ri'beljən]

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