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Volume 10 No. 24


Red Bull's latest financial statements reveal that the energy drink manufacturer "reduced its investment" in its championship-winning F1 team by $28.5M to $108.9M last year, according to Christian Sylt of AUTOWEEK. The decreased spending "turbocharged the drink manufacturer's return on investment from its involvement with F1 as its Red Bull Racing team took both the drivers' and constructors' championships for the third year running" in '12. In '12, Red Bull Racing's revenue "was almost the same as the previous year" at $286.7M. Likewise, "its costs remained stable" at $285.5M. So "how did Red Bull manage to reduce its spending on the team?" Red Bull Racing's prize money payment increased from an estimated $86.5M in '11 to $94.2M last year. According to F1's trade guide "Formula Money," Red Bull Racing was also paid a one-off bonus of $25M in '12 for signing a new commercial agreement with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone. The agreement runs from '13 until the end of '20. The increase in prize money, "along with the signing bonus," came to $32.7M. This "allowed Red Bull to reduce its spending by nearly the same amount" (AUTOWEEK, 11/11).

FIFA-backed research said that int'l sports organizations were worth 1.46B Swiss francs ($1.59B) and "accounted for 8,040 jobs in Switzerland's economy" in '11, according to the AP. FIFA Communications Dir Walter De Gregorio said that "the study, involving 67 sports bodies based in Switzerland, fulfilled a 'responsibility to contribute with facts and figures to relevant public policy discussions.'" The figures "covered employment, meetings and conferences, according to research commissioned by FIFA from Zurich-based consultants Rütter + Partner." The study said that sports bodies generated tax revenues for Switzerland of 128M Swiss francs ($140M), "directly from salaries and profits and indirectly from spending" (AP, 11/12).

The complete study of Rütter + Partner. (English) (German) (French)

Austrian Bundesliga football club Austria Vienna "has released its financial numbers for the '12-13 season in which the club generated a profit of €700,000 ($941,000)," according to the KURIER. The previous season "was the club's third consecutive in which it made a profit." At the same time, the club "was able to decrease its negative capital" from €2.6M to €1.9M last season. Club GM Markus Kraetschmer said, "It shows that the Austria is able to continue a positive development through its structure under extraordinary circumstances." During the current season, the club "is once again heading for one of its most successful fiscal years in its 102-year history." The club "expects to attain a positive capital after reaching the UEFA Champion League group stage during the current campaign." The Champions League participation will bring the club a revenue of €14M ($18.8M) (KURIER, 11/12).

Sources said that Forstmann Little & Co. "cut the field of bidders" for its IMG talent agency to five, "knocking out a joint bid from TPG Capital and Creative Artists Agency," according to Welch, Xu & McCracken of BLOOMBERG. Silver Lake Management, KKR & Co., CVC Capital Partners and Carlyle Group "are still vying with each other for the business," which may fetch more than $2.5B, the people said, "asking not to be identified because the information is private." N.Y.-based Forstmann Little "cut the list from 12 bidders after a Nov. 7 deadline." The departure of TPG and Creative Artists, "which had been seen as among the front-runners," pits Silver Lake and its partner, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, against CVC, owner of the F1 car-racing series. Spokespersons for TPG, KKR, CVC, Silver Lake and Forstmann Little "all declined to comment, while a spokesman for Washington-based Carlyle wasn’t available to comment." Forstmann Little "has told bidders" that the company has $200M a year (BLOOMBERG, 11/12). In Hollywood, Cynthia Little wrote sources said "IMG’s rivalry in the sports representation and marketing business with CAA may have played a part in the latter getting axed." The companies have had "a testy relationship for the past decade" after several top IMG reps "migrated with key clients to the CAA fold," as the agency aggressively built its sports business under President Richard Lovett. IMG insiders, some of whom may want to stay with the company after a sale, "were cautious about giving the CAA-TPG team a close look at the books because they are direct competitors in many arenas." A source close to the deal said CAA "has no intention of fielding a sweetened bid" (VARIETY, 11/12).