03 Aug 2022

By: Sport Industry Group

British seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has joined the Walton-Penner group, an ownership group close to completing the purchase of NFL franchise the Denver Broncos.

The group is headed up by American billionaire Rob Walton, former Chairman of Walmart, and heir to the fortune of the world’s largest retailer. Walton has an estimated net worth of $62bn (£50bn), making him the 19th richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

The takeover of three-time Super Bowl winner Denver Broncos will be completed at a reported $4.7bn (£3.8bn), which would be a record for a US sports franchise. The Walter-Penner group has agreed to buy the team from the Patrick D Bowlen Trust, however, the deal will still need to gain the approval of 24 of the 32 NFL owners at a league meeting on 9th August in order for it to be confirmed.

Hamilton’s level of involvement and investment in the venture is unclear.

The Mercedes Formula 1 driver has already shown interest in sports investment this year by pledging support and funds into British Airways chairman Martin Broughton’s consortium’s attempt to buy Premier League club Chelsea. This deal was ruled out after its dependence on a £500m loan from three US banks was revealed and the club was eventually sold to a group led by Todd Boehly.

Rob Walton, on behalf of the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group, commented, “We're delighted to welcome seven-time Formula One World Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton to our ownership group. He is a champion competitor who knows what it takes to lead a winning team and a fierce advocate for global equality, including in his own sport.

“With over 100 race wins, Lewis is considered the most successful F1 driver of all time. His resilient spirit and standard of excellence will be an asset to the ownership group and the Broncos organisation."

Denver Broncos star quarter-back Russell Wilson celebrated the news on social media by tweeting, “Congrats Lewis Hamilton! Winning is a habit!” Wilson and his wife, Ciara, were guests of Hamilton’s Mercedes race team at the Monaco Grand Prix this year.


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