SBD/December 13, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Ecclestone Critical Of Hamilton's Choice Of Management Company

Ecclestone said Hamilton meets people who probably have wrong sort of influence on him
F1 Management Chair Bernie Ecclestone has described driver Lewis Hamilton's decision to "put his affairs in the hands of a management company dealing primarily in showbusiness figures as 'a disaster,'" according to Richard Williams of the GUARDIAN. Ecclestone said it was "an uphill year" for Hamilton. Eccelstone: "I think he had some personal problems during the year which affected him quite a lot. A lot to do with these things, it depends an awful lot on the people you surround yourself with, and who are in a position to influence you." After considering options, Hamilton "signed a management contract in March with XIX Entertainment, run by Simon Fuller, the inventor of Pop Idol, whose clients include David and Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Will Young and Andy Murray." Ecclestone said Lewis "gets to meet people that probably he wouldn't have met, and (who) have probably the wrong sort of influence on him." Hamilton has "often flown to Los Angeles during this year to be with his girlfriend of four years, the singer Nicole Scherzinger, from whom he split in October." Ecclestone was "critical of Hamilton's decision to invite the rapper Ice-T into the McLaren garage during this year's Montreal Grand Prix." Ice-T made a film "of the visit which later appeared on YouTube." Ecclestone: "It's our fault, because we tend to encourage celebrities. It's good. Not so much for those of us who get our hands dirty but for all the sponsors who turn up with their guests and like to say: 'Oh, we saw whoever-it-was.' They forget they've come to watch Formula One" (GUARDIAN, 12/12).
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