Now, more than ever, the world’s best sports stars are taking on challenges outside of their own arena.
Recently, Nick Kyrgios and Naomi Osaka raised eyebrows when they set up their own pickleball team in Miami.
NBA legend and hall of fame basketballer Michael Jordan started his own NASCAR team dubbed 23XI.
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Last year, Lewis Hamilton bought a stake in the Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos outfit in the NFL.
Now, 22-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal is dipping his toes in the water of team ownership.
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The ‘King of Clay’ has joined the all-new, all-electric offshore powerboat racing series dubbed E1.
Founded by Formula E and Extreme E boss Alejandro Agag, the new racing series has similar environmental sustainability underpinnings.
The series hasn’t confirmed exactly where it will race but has indicated ‘leading cities’ will be the backdrop of the action.
Nadal isn’t the only high-profile sports star with a team in the championship.
Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez, the teammate to two-time champion Max Verstappen, has invested in E1 with Team Mexico.
“I’m really excited to be getting involved with a project like E1 that values sustainability and will make a positive impact on society as a whole, especially in coastal communities,” said Nadal.
“I also like the fact that E1 has a clear mission and is committed to preserving marine ecosystems.
“As a professional athlete, I recognise how making marginal gains has a positive impact on performance.
“To see this same competitive spirit and approach being applied at E1 to optimise the performance and efficiency of sustainable marine mobility is good news for our oceans.”
E1 has established a program to restore marine ecosystems, particularly along city waterfronts with support from Mallorquin-based professor Carlos Duarte.
Up to 10 teams will compete in the series which features hydrofoil boats dubbed ‘race birds’ capable of reaching speeds near 100 km/h thanks to a 150 kW motor.
The two-day events will see a knockout-style competition starting with head-to-head time trials, followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals, and a four-team final.
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