Formula E, the new all-electric open-wheel championship set to launch late next year, got a fresh jolt of momentum Friday with the announcement that Wyc Grousbeck, lead owner of NBA basketball’s Boston Celtics, together with his Causeway Media Partners, have made a multi-million investment in series promoter Formula E Holdings.
Beginning in September 2014, the the FIA Formula E Championship will compete in 10 city-center circuits around the globe including two races in the U.S. Miami and Los Angeles set for the spring of 2015. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head to create a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fan, while accelerating the electric vehicle market and promoting sustainability.
As part of the new arrangement, Grousbeck will serve on the Board of Directors at Formula E Holdings who were appointed series promoters of the championship in August 2012 by the FIA.
Grousbeck co-founded Causeway Media Partners in May 2013 with longtime investing partners, Bob Higgins and Mark Wan. The fund has also received personal backing from a number of NFL and NBA team owners, including the Boston Celtics ownership group he leads, as well as leading figures from the private equity and media worlds.
“I am happy to announce that Causeway Media Partners has brought its deep network of NBA and NFL owners, as well as media executives and renowned investors, to Formula E,” said Grousbeck. “We believe Formula E is a great evolutionary step in motorsport and a way to entertain millions around the world while driving the development of the best possible electric vehicles.
“It is a privilege to be in a partnership with Formula E’s Alejandro Agag and Enrique Bauelos, as well as with world-class partners such as FOX Sports, Virgin Racing, Audi Sport ABT, TAG Heuer, Michelin and Renault. We aim to help make Formula E a worldwide sensation, with a focus on the development of high-speed electric racing in the United States. With our upcoming races in the centres of Los Angeles and Miami, we will help showcase the power and promise of sustainable vehicle technology, while entertaining millions.
“Causeway’s mission is to find investment opportunities that benefit from our deep network of NBA and NFL team owners, media executives and professional investors. Formula E is a perfect match. At Causeway, we know the power of competition and entertainment, and will bring our knowledge to the development of the market for electric vehicles.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings, added: “We’re extremely happy to welcome Wyc Grousbeck and his Causeway Media Partners as a shareholder of Formula E and know they will prove to be a great asset to the development of the series. Wyc brings with him extensive knowledge and experience of the U.S. sports market which of course remains a key area for Formula E given we have two U.S.-based teams, two U.S. cities, broadcaster FOX Sports and of course the U.S.’s ever-expanding electric vehicle market.
“Today’s news is also another significant step in the growth of Formula E. Earlier this year we announced our 10-race calendar and also our 10 teams which includes worldwide names in motorsport such as Michael Andretti [Andretti Autosport] and Jay Penske [Dragon Racing], through to global environmentalists like Sir Richard Branson [Virgin Racing] and Leonardo DiCaprio [Venturi Grand Prix].
“I have also personally known Wyc for many years and know he’s going to make a huge contribution to our Board of Directors and the direction of the FIA Formula E Championship.”