A fan-owned franchise similar to the Green Bay Packers has announced its intention to enter the world of competitive sailing. Bernoulli-Locke said it plans to raise funds to start a SailGP that will represent Bermuda and the Caribbean. The team plans to raise $40 million with blockchain ownership interests costing $20,000 each. The 2,000 new owners will likely each want a say in the management and leadership of the new team.
“We’ve been very careful about how it’s governed,” said David Palmer, CEO of Bernoulli-Locke Robb report. “Obviously, two thousand owners can’t decide who drives the boat that week.” The team will have a sports director overseeing team decisions, while owners also sit on “subcommittees,” much like a convention setup, developing different ideas and Addresses issues that impact the team.
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It sounds cumbersome compared to the current structure in most professional sports, where franchise teams are overseen by individual owners and coaches make the big decisions instead of making committee decisions. Palmer thinks the idea is feasible. “There will have to be compromises, but we gave a lot of thought to how this is going to work in a high-performance organization.”
The concept also uses a novel approach by applying a Web3 infrastructure to a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) and NEAR protocol, which the founders believe will bring greater transparency to a global ownership base. The investors/owners each buy a fungible token via a blockchain exchange, which is different from, for example, bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. “The token represents a $20,000 stake in the company,” says Palmer. “Think of it as a tokenized share certificate.”
Bernoulli-Locke will be offering his first round to investors this weekend when the SailGP event takes place in Dubai, with residents of Bermuda and the Caribbean as the first entrants. The company expects 2,000 investors by January, with its team starting in March for the inaugural race of SailGP Season 4 in Chicago.
Palmer believes the schedule is feasible. “Finding 2,000 out of millions of possible investors doesn’t seem like a particularly ambitious number,” he says.
The league’s open-source data and use of Web3 should appeal to fans, says Tod Reynolds, director of Web3 strategy for SailGP. “There’s a lot of value in a fan-owned team,” he says. “Ultimately, it’s about building a passionate fan base, and that’s where Web3 comes in. It helps us build a global community.” According to Reynolds, the open source technology allows for a deeper insight into how the team works and helps create loyalty programs, NFTs and other fan assets.
“Our tech stack will allow us to do more than other boats,” adds Reynolds. “It will impact how fans interact with SailGP, not just through sailing, but through authenticated collectibles, NFT ticketing and even fantasy sports.”
Other pro athletes, he adds, will be watching how well the system works with the wannabe SailGP team.
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