Does Lewis Hamilton Own The Denver Broncos? Unpacking the F1 Star’s Involvement in NFL Ownership

Seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton is part of Denver Broncos' ownership group, buying 0.2% of the NFL side in August 2022.

Does Lewis Hamilton Own The Denver Broncos? Unpacking the F1 Star’s Involvement in NFL Ownership

Image: Denver Broncos

In August 2022, Lewis Hamilton continued his enduring legacy in the world of sport, but this time away from the fabled Formula 1 track where he had made his name. Instead, the British driver made inroads into another league, forming part of a group of investors to purchase a majority stake in the NFL team, the Denver Broncos.

Who are the Denver Broncos?

The Broncos are one of the most successful franchises in the history of the NFL with three Super Bowl wins during the three-decade ownership run of Pat Bowlen. Bowlen relinquished the day-to-day ownership of the team in 2014 due to Alzheimer’s disease.

Following his death in 2019, Bowlen left no instruction for how he wanted his team to be run and failed to name a successor to the NFL franchise among his surviving family members.

Bowlen’s 78% majority ownership in the Denver Broncos was placed in a trust overseen by former team CEO Joe Ellis, Broncos counsel Rich Slivka and Denver lawyer Mary Kelly.

After that, Bowlen’s family members began suing each other for control of the team. With the Broncos missing the playoffs in six consecutive seasons, they decided to sell the team.

A group, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton, his daughter Carrie Walton-Penner, son-in-law Greg Penner, Ariel Investment co-CEO Mellody Hobson, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and of course, Lewis Hamilton, was one of four bidders who advanced to the second bidding round in June 2022. 

A winning bid of $4.65 billion USD (~$7 billion AUD) was enough to acquire the franchise and represented the highest amount paid for a North American sports franchise in history. The sale was recommended for approval by the NFL’s Finance Committee in late July 2022 and unanimously approved by NFL owners on 9 August 2022.

While the amount of Hamilton’s investment wasn’t publicly disclosed, it was reported by Sportrush that he bought a minority 0.2% share in the team. Given the team’s current valuation of $4.65 billion (~$7 billion AUD), Hamilton’s share roughly translates to USD $9.3 million (~AUD $14 million).