A crypto group has decided to form a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, to buy the NFL franchise Denver Broncos.
If the deal is done, the Broncos would join the Green Bay Packers as the only football teams in the 32-team NFL to be owned by cooperatives. The Broncos could sell for an estimated $4 billion. This is the amount the DAO, led by Sean O’Brien, is seeking to raise, CoinDesk reported. O’Brien is a 10-year veteran of Cisco Systems’ legal department who left the corporate world to run small businesses with his wife.
A DAO is an organization represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organization members and not influenced by a central government. The community-led entity has no central authority. Smart contracts are used to create the foundational rules and execute the agreed-upon decisions. At any point, proposals, voting, and even the actual code can be publicly audited, according to Consensys.
Using cryptocurrencies, DAOs allow people around the world to pool funds. They’re a way to lock up funds on a public blockchain with participants transparently sharing governance decisions, often done by voting, on how funds should be used or invested.
The BuyTheBroncos DAO, which doesn’t go live until March, would incorporate as a cooperative, and participants in the DAO would have a parallel ownership share of the cooperative, according to O’Brien.
Around 110 people have owned controlling portions of NFL teams in the past 100 years, and all but two have been white. Despite hyping its efforts to diversify, the NFL ownership and management remain unchanged with few Black people hired for coaching and executive jobs.
The DAO aims to give fans a chance to own a piece of the team no matter their level of wealth. BuyTheBroncos has a number of professionals among its 630 Twitter followers, including attorneys, accountants, software developers, professional athletes and a mathematician.
It also has the support of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who recently announced plans to accept cryptocurrencies for state tax payments.
“I would be excited to be part of it myself,” Polis said. “The challenge will be it’ll take a lot of money…but you know what, if your imagination is big enough, then it can happen. And anything I can do to make it happen, I’d be happy to.”
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“We know it sounds a bit crazy, but it’s also a bit badass,” said O’Brien, whose last two attempts to buy professional sports teams with a DAO were unsuccessful, according to a CNBC interview. “The purpose essentially is to establish an infrastructure so that fans from all walks of life can be owners of the Denver Broncos.”
Wisconsin NFL team the Green Bay Packers is owned by a community cooperative.
Some folks on Twitter were confused, suspicious or doubtful the DAO would be successful.
“Wtf is a DOA?” asked KC Bowen (@KansasBowenCity), mixing up the letters.
“The rug pull for this one is gonna be breathtaking,” tweeted vespenegasminer (@akalittlevoiceespenegasminer).
A rug pull is a malicious tactic in the cryptocurrency industry where crypto developers abandon a project and take investors’ funds.
“NFL will block it. Watch,” tweeted Texas Crypto EnthusiastXRP $10+ (@TEXASXRPBOY).
Photo: Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon (25) runs for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during an NFL football game Jan. 8, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)