Drivers, equip your drivers – Netflix’s debut live sporting event is pitting the stars of the grid against the stars of the greens.
Teeing off on November 14, “The Netflix Cup” will see four Formula One drivers and four PGA Tour players compete in a golf tournament streamed live from Wynn Golf Club near the Las Vegas strip.
Staged on the eve of the first ever Las Vegas F1 Grand Prix, it sees Netflix blend two of their flagship sporting docuseries: “Drive to Survive,” which released its fifth season, and “Full Swing,” which premiered in 2023.
American quartet Rickie Fowler, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas will represent golf, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, McLaren’s Lando Norris, Williams’ Alex Albon and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly will turn up for F1.
“We love to see how our sports series have brought increased fandom to sports leagues and competitions all over the world,” Gabe Spitzer, Vice President of Nonfiction Sports at Netflix said in a press release.
“The Netflix Cup will take that energy to the next level with global stars from two popular hits competing in our first-ever live sports event.”
The tournament’s format will see four pairs, each made up of a golfer and a driver, compete in eight-hole matches, with the two best-performing teams advancing to the final hole to compete for the trophy.
Wynn Golf Club is no stranger to hosting live events, having staged the fifth edition of “The Match” in 2021, which saw Brooks Koepka ease past fierce rival Bryson DeChambeau.
And Sainz is no stranger to competitive golf, having taken part in the celebrity All-Star event prior to the Ryder Cup in Rome, Italy, earlier this month. The Spaniard lost his match to Novak Djokovic before Fowler, Homa, Morikawa, Thomas and Team USA were defeated 16.5 - 11.5 by Europe in the main event.
McIlroy, Kelce, Joshua invest in Alpine
The reveal of the Netflix Cup coincided with the announcement that several high-profile athletes – including golfer Rory McIlroy – are set to invest in Alpine’s F1 team.
Private investment firm Otro Capital announced Tuesday that it would be making a €200 million ($211.4m) “strategic investment” into the Renault Group-owned team, along with the incorporation of various sports stars to their investment group.
Additions include Northern Ireland’s McIlroy, the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs duo Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, boxer Anthony Joshua, football duo Trent-Alexander Arnold and Juan Mata, as well as Eberg Capital founder Roger Ehrenberg, who invests in the MLB’s Miami Marlins and the MLS’ Real Salt Lake.
“Passion for excellence on the golf course has led me to admire the same pursuit in Formula 1,” McIlroy said in a press release.
“Partnering with Otro Capital in Alpine F1 is an exhilarating venture that unites my love for sports, competition, and the relentless drive to be the best.”
Kelce added: “I am thrilled to lead an investor group and join forces with Patrick and the team at Otro Capital on this exciting venture with Alpine F1.
“Our shared passion for excellence and innovation forms the cornerstone of this partnership. It’s about being able to contribute to a sport that demands precision, teamwork, and relentless pursuit of success.
“I am looking forward to this new chapter and can’t wait to see what we achieve together.”
“I’m excited to be joining APEX’s [a Portuguese management fund which participated in Otro’s investment] group as an investor into Alpine F1 team alongside my brother Tyler. Having been to Formula 1 races as a fan, I love the high-pressure environment of the paddock and I’ve seen firsthand how incredibly impressive the Alpine team is,” Liverpool and England star Alexander-Arnold said.
“Our shared goal as an investment group is to help contribute to its continued success on the grid, at a time when F1 is facing incredible growth as a sport.”
Otro Capital were part of a new investment group that took a 24% equity stake in the Alpine team in June that included Wrexham AFC’s Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
With five races left of the 2023 F1 season, Alpine – driven by French duo Gasly and Esteban Ocon – are ranked sixth of 10 teams in the constructors championship.