SailGP, one of the world’s fastest growing sports properties and NEAR, a leading carbon-neutral, community-driven blockchain development platform, today announced a multi-year groundbreaking partnership. As part of the partnership, SailGP will explore the sale of a new team to a DAO launched on the NEAR Protocol – a first-of-its-kind community engagement and activation platform in professional sports. The historic partnership will enable fans and cryptocurrency enthusiasts to engage and access their favorite teams, athletes and events like never before.
The DAO community members may determine athlete selection, team management, commercialization options, operations and team strategy. Operating under the structure of the current SailGP Teams’ Participation Agreement, the DAO team could join the SailGP starting line-up as early as Season 4 in 2023, subject to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
A DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is an organization that is community-owned and whose financial transactions and rules of engagement are stored on a blockchain. While historically companies are managed from the top down, DAOs are communally governed and managed. Decisions are based on the community and determined by proposals and voting to ensure community members have the ability to directly influence the DAO’s direction.
In addition to the DAO, this new global partnership will enable NEAR to leverage SailGP events worldwide and educate its rapidly growing community of developers, technologists and platform companies on the capabilities of NEAR.
Together NEAR and SailGP will focus on initiatives including:
SailGP Founder Larry Ellison said: “We welcome NEAR to the SailGP family and we are looking forward to them participating in the most exciting racing on-water, featuring the world's best sailors."
The NEAR and SailGP partnership will provide an opportunity to educate millions of fans on-site and across SailGP platforms globally on the potential of web3.
Marieke Flament, CEO of the NEAR Foundation, the non-for profit entity that oversees development on the NEAR blockchain, said: “Our mission is to enable community-driven innovation to benefit people around the world, and this partnership is a fantastic example of exactly that. We are ushering in a brand-new era of entertainment by combining sports and technology to elevate the fan experience to a level that has never been seen before, and we’re proud to be leading the way alongside a like-minded organization that shares our core values and vision.”
IMG, SailGP’s global agency for sponsorship, media rights and host venue rights, helped facilitate the partnership. IMG is part of Endeavor, a strategic investor in SailGP.
Mark Shapiro, President of Endeavor, said: “This deal presents an exciting opportunity to change how fans can directly influence and participate in the sports they love. We are proud to have brokered this ground-breaking partnership which is the culmination of what happens when sport, technology and entertainment collide.”