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Sports icon and mogul Micahel Jordan announced this week that he has partnered with Denny Hamlin to purchase Germain Racing’s team charter. Jordan took the majority stake in the shareholding, making him the first Black majority owner of a full-time racing team in NASCAR since Wendell Scott.
Bubba Wallace has agreed to drive for the unnamed team in the NASCAR Cup Series and will leave Richard Petty Motorsports at the season’s end. Obtaining the charter secures the Jordans team a spot in Cup Series, but a car number, sponsor and crew have yet to be named.
Jordan is being praised for his move to the sporting series. “When somebody sees somebody like them in a sport, then they start thinking about themselves playing that sport,” Dr. Brett Boyle, marketing professor at Saint Louis University said referencing how the partnership could mimic Tiger Woods’ influence on golf. “This may increase minority interest in [NASCAR].”
Boyle reflected on how the sports fanbase is mainly White Southern men. NASCAR has struggled in recent years, trying to denounce the confederate flag that the fan base tends to carry. “To have Michael Jordan’s brand and his personality behind a team, I think it’s going to draw not only younger fans but also African-Amerian and other minority groups,” Boyle said.
What many sports fans did not realize about Jordan was that he was no stranger to racing. Jordan’s father James would take him to the Winston Cup Series in Charlotte. Jordan was not raised far from where the races would take place, having been raised in Winston, North Carolina.
When it came to investing in NASCAR, Jordan did extensive research in past investors who’ve backed a NASCAR team including Randy Moss and Joe Washington who all previously failed. The one thing that pushed the agreement the extra mile is that Bubba Wallace was the perfect face for the team. He has been a major competitor and was in the running for top 10 finishes in the sport.
Jordan and Hamlin have much to do before Wallace jumps behind the wheel of his new team, including securing a pit team & sponsors. Jordans success as a businessman and Hamlin’s knowledge as a racer should secure some top notch sponsors but sponsors won’t have a cheap price tag. The ballpark price per race can cost around $1 million, making a season fall between $20-$30 million a season. Wallace will have to win or place in the top drivers to do his part in continuing sponsorships after commitment.
“I think [Bubba] has the potential to be [a champion]. If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t get into this,” Jordan told The Charlotte Observer. “Luck has a lot to do [with winning] in a lot of sports, but if you feel you have the same knowledge and the same equipment, you give yourself a chance. Then It’s all up to the diver.
A car number and racing place is expected to be announced in the coming months.
Russell Ray is an outgoing high energy multimedia journalist/ producer, Actor, writer and AfterBuzz TV host. Russell has accreditations with TMZ and The NAACP Image Awards with a passion to bring you breaking news, entertainment segments and interviews.
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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