A team of well-known athletes such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Anthony Joshua, Juan Mata, Alexander Zverev, and Rory McIlroy have become co-investors in a €200m (£173m) share of the Alpine Formula One team.
They are members of the syndicate formed by the Otro Capital group, which includes actors Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney, and Michael B Jordan.
In June, the syndicate acquired a 24% stake in the team. Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, NFL players for the Kansas City Chiefs, have also recently invested in Alpine through the Otro consortium.
Alexander-Arnold, Joshua, Mata and Zverev are participating as part of the Apex investment group. The value of their new co-investment in Alpine has not been disclosed but the Liverpool right-back Alexander‑Arnold felt Alpine and F1 were a strong combination to back.
“I am thrilled to be leading an investor group that is investing in Alpine F1,” he stated. “The potential is incredibly thrilling, as F1 continues to expand globally. I am eager to contribute to this growth. The sport embodies qualities of teamwork, precision, and innovation in a high-pressure setting, which are also important aspects of my own work.”
Apex, which is based in Portugal, already has connections to F1 having set up a $53.7m investment fund, unrelated to the Alpine deal, this year with backing from the F1 drivers Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas targeting business areas including sports-related technology and entertainment. The company has also invested in the TMRW Sports group that was founded by Tiger Woods and McIlroy.
The recent investment demonstrates not only the increasing value of teams in F1, but also the growing appeal for financial support due to the sport’s popularity. In June, Alpine was sold for $900 million and as there are currently only 10 teams in the grid, these numbers are expected to rise even further.
António Cacorino, the chief executive officer of Apex group, is confident that the increasing popularity of F1 has made it a strong financial asset.
According to Cacorino, there has been noticeable progress in the sport in the past six or seven years, with sustained growth particularly evident in the past two or three years.
The sport has been greatly impacted, and we are confident that F1’s momentum is enduring. This deal was ideal. F1 has reached a wider audience, beyond just dedicated fans of petrol cars. People all around the globe are tuning in, making it one of the most popular sports.
The participating athletes are anticipated to contribute to the team, not just by competing in races but also by utilizing their experience from other sports arenas to develop commercial strategies at Alpine.
Joshua, a two-time former boxing heavyweight champion, expressed his excitement at the opportunity to strategically invest in Alpine, stating that he could not pass up such a chance. He looks forward to embarking on this journey with a talented group of investors and hopes to contribute to the team’s success.
The Enstone-based team in Oxfordshire is primarily owned by car maker Renault and bears the name of their sports car label.
They remain committed to returning to fighting for championships having, under the Renault brand, previously enjoyed success winning two drivers’ and constructors’ titles in 2005 and 2006 with Fernando Alonso. However, they have struggled to keep up with Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull in recent times.
This year, the company has experienced several alterations in leadership that have not instilled trust. In July, they dismissed their team leader, Otmar Szafnauer, and the director of athletics, Alan Permane. Additionally, their chief technical officer, Pat Fry, departed to join Williams.
Last season, Alpine came in fourth place in the constructors’ championship. However, they need to make infrastructure improvements and expand their facilities in order to catch up to the top teams. Currently, they are in sixth place this year and have been surpassed by both McLaren and Aston Martin. Since being rebranded as Alpine in 2021, they have achieved one victory (Esteban Ocon’s win at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix) and three third-place finishes.