When Formula E burst onto the racing scene at its first-ever race in 2014, people were skeptical that the series would actually survive. Electric cars weren’t quite in vogue yet, and people wondered who the hell would even be watching. Five years later, it turns out that a hell of a lot of people have been tuning in—and many of them are younger fans.
That’s a pretty coveted market for the motorsport world, whether series heads want to admit it or not. Think back to the Bernie Ecclestone years of Formula One, where the man himself proclaimed that he had no interest at all in trying to attract younger fans. At the start of this year, it was revealed in Forbes that only fourteen percent of its viewers are under 25, with another 30 percent making up the 25-34 demographic. In terms of social media, only 62 percent of of fans are under 45, F1 reported earlier this year.
Those are not exactly ideal numbers when you take into account preserving the longevity of a racing series.
Which is where Formula E comes in: a whopping 72 percent of its social media fans are under 35, Reuters reports.
While there is admittedly a difference between viewers and social media followers, it’s still incredibly promising for FE to be attracting so much interest on platforms that The Youths are using. It’s a market that F1 has long been struggling to tap.
The money situation is good, too, according to the Reuters article. For the first time in its history, Formula E’s EBITDA—earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization—was positive. Yes: the series actually turned a profit.
Here are some more details from the article:
The city-based series, which starts its sixth championship in Saudi Arabia in November, said revenues increased 50% to more than 200 million euros ($220.54 million) last season, according to preliminary figures.
While no full breakdown was provided, a spokesman put the profit at around 1 million euros and said sponsorship was up 25%.
While those numbers aren’t huge, they’re still promising for a series just about to embark on its sixth season. It suggests the interest is there, people are watching, and sponsors are getting more and more involved. There’s a future in FE worth investing in.
FE’s sixth season kicks off on November 22, 2019 in Saudi Arabia.