Lewis Hamilton might still be the biggest name in Formula 1 despite not winning a race for two years, but the 38-year-old is already preparing for life off the track with interests in lifestyle, fashion, and other sports.
What does that have to do with the Denver Broncos? Well, in 2022 Hamilton joined the Walton-Penner family ownership group, who bought the franchise for $4.65bn earlier in the year.
That makes the winningest driver in F1 a part-owner of the team, which is why he shows up at Mile High periodically during the increasingly short off-season - or when he has a rare Sunday off.
Of course, Hamilton doesn’t own the Broncos by himself, not even the greatest driver of his generation has earned that much money yet. The Walton-Penner family group who own the team has some other notable names too…
The headline name in the group is that of Rob Walton, whose father founded Walmart in the 1960s and who took over as chairman of the board of directors in 1992 following the death of his father. He’s no longer involved in the day-to-day running of the company now, at 77, but his estimated net worth of $60bn makes him the NFL’s richest owner.
Speaking of the day-to-day running of Walmart, that’s now done by Greg Penner, Walton’s son-in-law who, along with Walton’s daughter Carrie Walton Penner, is expected to be the most involved in running the Broncos too.
The other two minority owners alongside Hamilton are Mellody Hobson and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Hobson is the co-CEO of Ariel Investments and sits on the boards of a number of companies (including Starbucks), and is married to Star Wars creator George Lucas.
Rice is best known for her political career, serving as Secretary of State during George W Bush’s second term as President, but has a history in football too. She served on the inaugural College Football Playoff committee, and was even later linked with the Cleveland Browns’ head coaching job by NFL insider Adam Schefter.
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