After Eduardo Najera who invested in the Dallas club of an indoor football league, or even Kevin Durant and Draymond Green who bet on the rise of “pickleball“, it is the turn of Baron Davis to innovate in terms of shareholding in the world of sport. The former playmaker, two-time All-Star, fell in love with SailGP type racing after attending a Grand Prix in Saint-Tropez last summer, for an experience he sums up: like Formula 1, but on the water“.
Baron Davis also sniffed out the business aspect of a new fashionable discipline, with growing interest from the general public since SailGP races attracted more than 1.6 million viewers on American soil, audiences comparable to those of SailGP matches. NHL. According to the league, the races of the last GP were followed by more than 117 million television viewers worldwide.
The SailGP innovates in its economic structure
Baron Davis then approached the “SailGP” structure which now organizes a competition of 12 Grand Prix during the year, and he will therefore set up a new type of shareholding. His team will be owned and managed by a DAO (a blockchain-powered structure that allows multiple individuals to run an entity collectively) comprised solely of fans.
This could be on the starting line for next season. She will represent Bermuda and the Caribbean. For the rest, it will be up to the co-shareholders, who will have integrated the structure with an initial investment ranging from 5,000 to 200,000 dollars, to decide everything. From hiring to layoffs, through sporting and financial choices, a real little board of directors. Even if many decision-making levers remain to be clarified, it is an innovative way of inviting fans to the decision-making table and to the world of sport-business.
“If fans can participate in a team, make decisions and be rewarded, it’s a great way to organize. This is a great opportunity to kickstart this ownership structure and bring the right people into it.”, said Baron Davis. “We live in a time where everything needs a proof by example or a use case. This is an example of an excellent ‘proof of concept’”.
Founded in 2018, SailGP is one of the first professional sports leagues to attempt to implement this type of shareholding by creating a team from A to Z. The question of involving fans in the decision-making process of the entities sports they support remains a high-stakes subject for all sports leagues, including the NBA, even if Baron Davis knows that there is still a long way to go before fans have their say.
“I don’t know if that will happen in the next two years,” he added. “But that’s why it’s a great opportunity. Because it is something that we are building”.