Lewis Hamilton has become the newest partner-owner of the three-time NFL champion Denver Broncos. The most successful F1 driver of all time, with 103 Grand Prix victories, has joined the likes of Micheal Jordan and David Beckham as an athlete with a stake in a major sports franchise.
Hamilton is resilient and competitive and will add diversity to the Denver Broncos. Here’s what you need to know.
The Denver Broncos’ succession saga
On August 9, NFL owners unanimously approved the sale of the Denver Broncos to Rob Walton and the company. This transaction marked the end of the Bowlen family’s ownership of the three-time NFL champions.
For a long time, the Denver Broncos have been under the ownership of Pat Bowlen and, more recently, the Pat Bowlen Trust after Pat reduced his involvement following his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease.
Bowlen died in 2019, kicking off a succession struggle among his children. His wish was that one of his children take over after his death. The trustees selected Britanny Bowlen as successor, but the Bowlen children failed to reach a unanimous decision. Consequently, the club was put for sale.
Lewis Hamilton backs Rob Walton’s $4.65 billion bid for the Denver Broncos
The 37-year-old British driver has joined hands with Rob Walton, Walmart’s heir, to make a $4.65 billion bid for the Denver Broncos. The NFL owners approved the bid on August 9, making it the most expensive offer for an NFL team.
In a tweet, Hamilton said, “Excited to join an incredible group of owners and become a part of the @Broncos story!! Honoured to work with a world class team and serve as an example of the value of more diverse leadership across all sports. Roscoe already thinks he made the team 😂 #LetsRide 🐎🔥”
The Denver Broncos are now owned by the Walter-Penner ownership group, who bought the family business from the Bowlen family. In a statement on behalf of the Walter-Penner Family Ownership Group, Robert Walton tweeted:
“We’re delighted to welcome Seven-Time Formula One World Champion Sir @LewisHamilton to our ownership group. He is a champion competitor who knows what it takes to lead a winning team.”
The Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group believes Hamilton to be a champion competitor with what it takes to lead a team to victory. After a complicated succession saga, the Walter-Penner family took over from the Bowlen family.
Adding diversity to the Denver Broncos ownership group
Hamilton is not the only personality to join in the ownership of the Denver Broncos. Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice also joined the group. Mellody Hobson, Starbucks board chair, is also a new limited partner in the Denver Broncos’ ownership.
The three new limited partners, Hamilton, Rice, and Hobson, are all Black, which certainly increases diversity among NFL owners. Including these three makes the Denver Broncos the most diverse ownership group in the NFL. Additionally, Hamilton, Rice, and Hobson are all highly qualified individuals with careers that are vastly different from the NFL.
Hamilton and other Denver Broncos ownership group members have two urgent matters to handle after their recent acquisition. The first involves managing quarterback Russell Wilson’s contract extension. The group is expected to negotiate a deal of $260 million within a five-year contract.
The next urgent item on business involves the Denver Broncos stadium, Empower Field at Mile High. It has been the Broncos stadium for 21 years and lacks the revenue-generating features of many modern NFL stadiums. The group will have to discuss and find a way to improve their stadium’s condition.