DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Broncos announced on Tuesday morning that Sir Lewis Hamilton will be a part of the Broncos Walton-Penner family ownership group.
Hamilton is a seven-time Formula One World Champion. He was officially knighted from the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle in December.
The ownership group includes Walmart heir Rob Walton, Carrie Walton Penner and Greg Penner, according to a statement from Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis. Walton also said investor Mellody Hobson has joined the ownership group, as well as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Walton released the following statement on behalf of the ownership group:
“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 spirt and standard of excellence will be an asset to the ownership group and the Broncos organization,” Walton shared.
Hamilton, 37, is a driver for the Mercedes F1 team.
“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,” Hamilton shared on Twitter.
Walton, the head of the ownership group, is hoping to purchase the team for a record $4.65 billion sale.
Walton is the chairman of the Walmart Board and an heir to Sam Walton, the company’s founder. Forbes estimates his net worth at $58.8 billion. He would be the richest owner in the NFL, if the deal is approved.
Darrin Duber-Smith, a senior lecturer at Metropolitan State University of Denver, told FOX31 Hamilton will increase the visibility of the Broncos around the world.
“There’s going to be quite a bit of international attention, quite a bit of crossover with the racing world,” Duber-Smith said.
Hamilton has 29 million followers on Instagram, is on the Forbes list of highest-paid athletes and, as Duber-Smith pointed out, is another diverse voice in the ownership group.
“There’s been a lot of pressure I think, both within the NFL and also externally, to really increase the representation in terms of the ownership,” he said.
Duber-Smith said the construction of the new team signals stability, which is good for the Broncos.
“That attracts good employees. So, you attract good coaches. and you attract good players and people want to be part of the new system,” Duber-Smith said.
Multiple reports indicate the final vote will go down on Aug. 9 in Minnesota. 24 of the league’s 31 other owners will need to approve of the sale, according to ProFootball Talk’s Mike Florio.