Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Businessman Sean O’Brien has helped
create the “BuyTheBroncos” decentralized autonomous organization
(DAO), which aims to raise $4 billion in cryptocurrency for bidding
to purchase the NFL’s Denver Broncos franchise.
CNBC’s MacKenzie Sigalos reported
Saturday the group of “crypto enthusiasts” already includes
attorneys, accountants, software developers and pro athletes ahead of
the DAO’s launch in March.
“We know it sounds a bit crazy, but
it’s also a bit badass,” O’Brien told CNBC. “The purpose
essentially is to establish an infrastructure so that fans from all
walks of life can be owners of the Denver Broncos.”
The Pat Bowlen Trust announced Feb. 1
the Broncos were being put up for sale by the family following
Bowlen’s death in June 2019.
“Selling an NFL team is a complex
process involving numerous parties and league approval procedures.
Nonetheless, the trustees hope to have the sale completed by the
start of the 2022 NFL season,” the Trust said in a statement.
Several groups have begun to form ahead
of the bidding process, including two that feature Hall of Fame
quarterbacks who played for Denver: John Elway and Peyton Manning.
“BuyTheBroncos” organizers told
CNBC they’ll initially try to raise the entire $4 billion, with a
backup plan of raising a percentage of the funds and then joining
an established, more conventional group to become a stakeholder in a
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said he’s
intrigued by the idea and would be willing to help organizers get
involved in the sale process, though he can’t influence the Bowlen
Trust’s final decision.
“I can’t play favorites,” Polis
told CNBC. “Obviously, whoever buys the team, we’re totally—as a
state, we want to have a good owner—but this would be really
noteworthy for Colorado if they could pull this off.”
O’Brien is hopeful the bid, even if
it’s unsuccessful, brings more attention to the DAO space, which he
believes can make a “tangible connection between this web3 life and
the real world.”
“While having a fan-owned Denver
Broncos in a DAO-based system would be amazing, that isn’t our
final goal,” he told CNBC. “… Our thought is that it
accelerates DAO adoption for solving real-world problems such as food
scarcity or unhoused peoples.”
While Forbes listed the Broncos as the
league’s 10th-most valuable franchise in its 2021 rankings with an
estimated value of $3.75 billion, the infrequency with which NFL teams
become available could cause the final sale price to skyrocket. The
Carolina Panthers were the last team up for sale in 2017.
The heavy fluctuation of crypto prices
could also be a factor. One Bitcoin, the most prominent
cryptocurrency, is worth just over $38,200 as of Sunday morning.
That’s a 44.6 percent drop from its all-time high of $68,990 in
November—just four months ago.
So far, the Bowlen Trust hasn’t said
whether it will accept crypto bids on par with standard proposals,
but it sounds like the sale process will move swiftly over the next
few months ahead of the 2022 season, so answers could come shortly.