The soon-to-be owners Denver Broncos today pulled one more surprise out of their bag, announcing that superstar Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton was joining their ownership group just days ahead of the league’s vote to approve the sale of the team.
Hamilton joins former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ariel Investments CEO-slash-Starbucks board chair Mellody Hobson in forming a triumvirate of Black elites inside the group that it making the largest purchase of a North American pro sports team in history. That group, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton and his daughter and son-in-law Carrie Walton-Penner and Greg Penner, agreed to pay a record $4.65 billion for the team, which has been held in a trust for the family of deceased former owner Pat Bowlen since his death in 2019.
Hamilton tweeted his excitement at being included in the deal.
As with Rice and Hobson, the financial terms of Hamilton being included in the deal weren’t disclosed, nor was his percentage stake in the team. Hamilton, 37, competes in one of the richest sports on earth, with most Formula One races held in exotic locations and featuring wealthy spectators that include global royalty, wealthy executives and entrepreneurs who travel in by yacht or private jet.
Forbes ranked him the 17th-highest-paid athlete in the world this year, and the 40th highest-paid celebrity, with total earnings of $65 million divided between earnings and endorsements.
Hamilton has won a record 103 Formula One races and is tied for the most F1 championships at seven.