Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton is the newest co-owner of the Denver Broncos. The Broncos released the news on Tuesday in a statement from Walmart heir Rob Walton on behalf of the Walton-Penner Family ownership group.
Hamilton is the third Black owner in the six-person group.
"We're delighted to welcome seven-time Formula One champion Sir Lewis Hamilton to our ownership group," the group said in a statement. "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 organization."
Hamilton, 37, joins former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was introduced as a co-owner last month. Carrie Walton Penner, Walton's daughter, and her husband, Greg Penner, are known to be part of the group as is Mellody Hobson, the current chair of Starbucks.
Broncos new ownership group
The ownership group agreed to purchase the Broncos for $4.65 billion and is set to officially take over the franchise this month. The Pat Bowlen Trust put the team up for sale in February after years of contention following former owner Pat Bowlen's Alzheimer's diagnosis in 2014 and death in 2019.
The NFL's team owners will vote on the sale during a special league meeting in Minnesota next week and 24 of 32 votes are needed for final approval. The sale price is a record for an American sports team, more than doubling the previous record of $2.3 billion for the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. The sale of the Chelsea football club came in at more than $5 billion earlier this year.
Hamilton ranked No. 17 on the Forbes' list of highest-earning athletes in 2022 at $65 million. He holds the F1 record for race wins (103) and is currently sixth in the driver's standings for the year. He placed second at the Hungarian Grand Prix last week. The driver was previously part of a bid for Chelsea, but a group led by Todd Boehly won out. Boehly owns the Los Angeles Lakers, Sparks and Dodgers.