Last week saw the unveiling of plans for a new DAO-owned sailing team for SailGP, the global sailing series launched by Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts. But while sports DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) aim to democratize access to sports by enabling teams to be fan-owned, your average person might have more limited participation. To comply with regulations, owning a piece of this sailing team will only be open to wealthy accredited investors.
In SailGP each team represents a territory. Bernoulli | Locke is launching a fan-owned team for the Caribbean and Bermuda and hopes to have it ready for the start of the season in June 2023.
The idea of fan-owned teams is to enable people that follow a sport to participate in key decisions. In the case of the SailGP team, owners will be able to vote on a broad range of decisions, potentially including the team name and flag, athlete selection, boat livery, fan benefits, sponsorship, management, team business decisions and more.
The Near Protocol, the blockchain that will power the DAO, became a partner of SailGP back in March. Ledger Insights spoke to numerous potential sports DAOs, and getting buy-in from the sports league is one of several hurdles to pass, but an important one. SailGP recently updated its Participation Agreement to support a DAO-owned team.
“Our goal is to have a vibrant community of owners and fans jointly sharing the incredible journey of establishing and operating a competitive global racing team,” said David Palmer, CEO and founder of Bernoulli | Locke.
From chatting with other sports DAO founders such as MotorDAO, BuyTheBroncos and F1DAO, the key takeaway is to build a community, with most of them putting a lot of effort into Twitter and Discord groups. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for this SailGP team. The only social media we found was a Telegram channel and we didn’t see any Telegram messages.
There’s a little bit of information provided on Fanvest.io but not much, although that could partly be related to compliance. The website mentions NFT Season passes that provide community access and governance rights, but there’s little more detail. Finding out more requires providing full name and address details, and even then, there’s no automated response.
The radio silence may be the result of a bit of unfortunate timing. Because the SailGP team unveiled the same day that Binance pulled out of its deal to acquire the FTX crypto exchange, resulting in its bankruptcy. It seems a shame to put in all this effort to get this far and not follow through on the community side.