Hall of Fame football coach Joe Gibbs was the first sports legend outside of racing to own a team in NASCAR. Then came NBA player Brad Daugherty who became a co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing. Last year NBA legend Michael Jordan paired up with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin to form 23XI Racing. Jordan also has an ownership stake in the Hornets.
On January 21, 2022 when the Oklahoma City Thunder come to Charlotte to play the Hornets in basketball, the Hornets will sponsor what is being called the first cross-over event.
Minority owner Denny Hamlin has season tickets and will be at the game; as will 23XI drivers Bubba Wallace and Kurt Busch. Fans will also get a look at the 23XI showcar and earn prizes throughout the night.
Hornets President and Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield spoke on the event saying, “the Hornets and 23XI Racing have much more in common than shared ownership; our principles and mission within the community are very much aligned. Hosting 23XI Racing Crossover Night is a tremendous way to further strengthen our bond and open up future opportunities for collaboration between our organizations and leagues.”
23XI Racing President Steve Lauletta also spoke on the upcoming event saying, “we’re very excited about this unique collaboration with the Charlotte Hornets and the opportunity to bring our teams together. Being based in the Charlotte region offers a natural ability for our two organizations to interact and work together in a variety of ways. As we enter our second year, we want to continue building the 23XI brand and fan base, and partnering with organizations like the Hornets allows us to introduce their fans to NASCAR, Bubba, Kurt and what we do both on and off the race track. Our hope is fans of both the Hornets and 23XI will attend and we can show the synergies between the organizations and create new fans for both teams.”
Tickets for the first ever Hornets/23XI Racing Crossover Night are available from hornets.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX (462-2849).
feature photo credit: [[File:Bubba Wallace 23 Sonoma 2021.jpg|Bubba_Wallace_23_Sonoma_2021]]