On Thursday morning, 23XI Racing officially revealed their latest sponsorship partner in DraftKings. According to a post from the team, DraftKings will bring a bold black, orange and green paint scheme to Bubba Wallace’s No. 23 car at Pocono Raceway on June 27th.
📢 It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome @DraftKings to the 23XI family ❕❕
— 23XI Racing (@23XIRacing) May 20, 2021
According to a press release from DraftKings, the company has become the first official Daily Fantasy Sports, iGaming and Sports Betting Partner of 23XI Racing. In addition to the primary sponsorship at Pocono, the DraftKings logo will be added as an associate sponsorship on the No. 23 car for the remainder of the season beginning with this weekend’s race at Circuit of the Americas.
For DraftKings, joining forces with 23XI Racing just makes sense.
“Joining forces with the 23XI Racing organization near the beginning of its growth makes this collaboration all the more impactful for DraftKings,” said Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer at DraftKings in the release. “Beyond the brand and product integrations of this deal, we also greatly admire Bubba Wallace’s ongoing advocacy for social justice and inclusion, equity and belonging efforts because they align perfectly with our company values.”
Wallace is excited for the new partnership, as he is a big fan of DraftKings.
“I’m excited to see what we are capable of creating together as we welcome DraftKings to the 23XI Racing family,” said Wallace. “As a big fan of the company, this relationship marks a historic moment as we integrate with a leader in sports technology and entertainment to enhance the experience of racing fans across the board.”
The announcement also answers a question that NASCAR fans had about a cryptic tweet from Hamlin on Wednesday night, where he tweeted a pen emoji and a crown emoji.
— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) May 20, 2021
The tweet stirred up a hornet’s nest of speculation, which led most fans to thinking Hamlin had either found a way to bring LeBron James into the fold of his team (James is part of the Fenway Sports group that is a part owner of Roush Fenway Racing) or that something was happening with Richard Petty Motorsports. In the end, it was another sponsorship announcement for a team that has had many in their brief time in the sport.
Aside from everything already mentioned, the deal makes even more sense as Jordan, the team’s co-owner, entered an ownership stake in DraftKings back in September last year in exchange for becoming a special advisor for the sports betting site.
Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern says the DraftKings deal will mean more to the team than just a one-race sponsorship at Pocono Raceway. According to a report from Stern, DraftKings will help the 23XI Racing team with their expansion. According to Stern the team is in talks to snag a second charter potentially as early as next season.
DraftKings coming on board will help 23XI with its expansion plans, as the team is in talks to acquire a second charter as soon as next year, per sources.
➖ 23XI was already sold out on its sole car this year, but DraftKings could grow with the team and help fund a second car. pic.twitter.com/sAcQO6iwNt
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) May 20, 2021
Denny Hamlin, co-owner of the 23XI Racing team with NBA legend Michael Jordan, shared blueprints of the future 23XI Racing shop, which is currently being built, and rumors spread rampant that the team was eyeing expansion as there are four crew chief offices planned as a part of the facility.
If the 23XI team does expand to two cars for 2022, the second team car will be one of the hottest landing spots for potential free agent drivers, as the team has had very little difficulty filling up sponsorship space.
Through their first 13 races, Bubba Wallace and the 23XI Racing team sit 21st in the NASCAR Cup Series standings. While the team has not scored a single top-10 to date, Wallace is on pace for the best points ranking and average finish of four full-time seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series.
This past weekend at Dover International Speedway, Wallace scored the team’s best-ever finish with an 11th-place effort at the 1-mile concrete oval.