WANTED: Fan owners for SailGP

Published on November 10th, 2022

When the fourth season of SailGP begins on June 17-18 in Chicago, the 2023-24 events may or may not have the first fan-owned team in the line-up. Leveraging new age financing which the league recently approved, the clock has commenced on an effort seeking enough investors to be confirmed as the tenth team.

Fronted by David Palmer, Founder and CEO of Bernoulli | Locke, the immediate race is whether 2000 people will write checks for $2000 US by January 15, 2023. It is the latest concept of fan engagement with the group hoping to attract support for the team’s combined territory of the Caribbean and Bermuda.

Using a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) structure and built on the NEAR Protocol, the team has been promised a boat if they get their funding. While it feels like the cart is ahead of the horse, as no sailors are revealed to get excited about, the draw is an investment opportunity in a league hoping to succeed.

“David and his team have a unique marketing and operational background building global membership-based communities – demonstrating the expertise required to launch and assist in operating a fan-owned team facilitated by a DAO,” shared SailGP CEO Russell Coutts.

“Professional sport is about building a passionate fanbase, and as a tech-forward global league – SailGP has leaned into Web3 to further develop the future of fandom. We look at the fan-owned team as the ultimate implementation of a loyalty program, and this new Caribbean & Bermuda team will redefine the fan experience and team ownership model.”

The concept of DAO funding is not completely unique, as it was considered when the Denver Broncos of the National Football League were for sale (and then banned by the NFL), and is prevalent in levels of basketball, motor sports, and karate.

With the clock also ticking on the stability of the SailGP league, as many of the nine teams are subsidized by league founder Larry Ellison, this funding platform may be leveraged to secure their independence. That could include the United States SailGP team in which driver Jimmy Spithill and Palmer have pre-existing relationship.

For an education of Fan-Own Team 101, click here.

SailGP informationSeason 3 scoreboardYouTubeHow to watch

Season Three Standings (after six of 11 events)
1. Australia (Tom Slingsby), 50 points
2. New Zealand (Peter Burling), 46 points
3. France (Quintin Delapierre), 41 points
4. Great Britain (Ben Ainslie), 40 points
5. Canada (Phil Robertson), 36 points
6. Denmark (Nicolai Sehested), 36 points
7. United States (Jimmy Spithill), 34 points
8. Spain (Jordi Xammar), 19 points
9. Switzerland (Sebastien Schneiter), 14 points

2022-23 SailGP Season 3 Schedule
May 14-15, 2022 – Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess
June 18-19, 2022 – United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier
July 30-31, 2022 – Great Britain Sail Grand Prix | Plymouth
August 19-20, 2022 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix | Copenhagen
September 10-11, 2022 – France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez
September 24-25, 2022 – Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía – Cádiz
November 12-13, 2022 – Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas
January 13-14, 2023 – Singapore Sail Grand Prix
February 17-18, 2023 – Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney
March 17-18, 2023 – New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch
May 6-7, 2023 – United States Sail Grand Prix | San Francisco (Season 3 Grand Final)

Format for 2022-23 SailGP events:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs across two days.
• There are three qualifying races each day for all nine teams.*
• The top three teams from qualifying advance to a final race to be crowned event champion and earn the largest share of the $300,000 prize money to be split among the top three teams.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a winner-takes-all match race for the $1m prize.
* Qualifying schedule increased from five to six races at France SailGP.

For competition documents, click here.

Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe. Rival national teams compete in identical F50 catamarans for event prize money as the season culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.

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