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Boardroom is a sports, media and entertainment brand co-founded by Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman and focused on the intersection of sports and entertainment. Boardroom’s flagship media arm features premium video/audio, editorial, daily and weekly newsletters, showcasing how athletes, executives, musicians and creators are moving the business world forward. Boardroom’s ecosystem encompasses B2B events and experiences (such as its renowned NBA and WNBA All-Star events) as well as ticketed conferences such as Game Plan in partnership with CNBC. Our advisory arm serves to consult and connect athletes, brands and executives with our broader network and initiatives.

Recent film and TV projects also under the Boardroom umbrella include the Academy Award-winning Two Distant Strangers (Netflix), the critically acclaimed scripted series SWAGGER (Apple TV+) and Emmy-nominated documentary NYC Point Gods (Showtime).

Boardroom’s sister company, Boardroom Sports Holdings, features investments in emerging sports teams and leagues, including the Major League Pickleball team, the Brooklyn Aces, NWSL champions Gotham FC, and MLS’ Philadelphia Union.

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Alpine F1 Racing is Building for Now & the Future

Boardroom goes behind the scenes to talk with drivers & executives from the Alpine F1 Racing team to learn how they keep up and grow in an evolving sport.

Once considered a niche sport in a country dominated by football, basketball, and baseball, Formula 1 has steadily gained traction and captivated a curious audience across the nation. Whether flocking to race sites for a short glimpse of your favorite racer or bask in the energy of the paddock, it’s safe to say Formula 1 has permanently marked its relevancy stateside.

One significant catalyst for the sport’s development in the US has been the influx of A-list American investors, specifically when it comes to Alpine F1 Racing. The French racing team boasts a rich heritage in motorsport and, as of late, has been the easy choice for fans following their favorite athlete’s interests. Sure the rival teams also have superstar backers, but the shortlist of those who support Alpine’s mission includes:

As if that roster weren’t already stacked, football legend Zinedine Zidane is also a part of the Alpine team as an ambassador. The midfielder-turned-manager also sponsors its equal opportunities program, Rac(H)er and the Concours Excellence Mécanique.

For a team revered for its engineering prowess and competitive spirit, Alpine has also given its American fanbase an excuse to pick a favorite side simply based on the influences of its investor corp. During the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month, Mahomes, Kelce, and Zidane were all present to provide their support to the team’s drivers, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon.

Gasly explained to Boardroom at the Miami Grand Prix the impact of having these big names support his efforts on the track.

“You see more and more big names coming into the sport and willing to be part of it in some ways,” he said. “For us drivers, we are getting a lot more opportunities from brands in general with collaboration and partnerships. So yeah, it’s a great time to be a Formula 1 driver and it’s a great time to be a Formula 1 team owner.”

As for whether their contribution adds more pressure for them to succeed, Gasly said, “Absolutely not,” but it does make him proud to be a part of this team. After all, all of the aforementioned sports investors have experienced championship success in some form in their respective careers.

While Alpine hasn’t found the podium (yet) this season, learning from investors has motivated Gasly to perform at his best in hopes Alpine will soon stand among the ranks of Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris.

“I always feel like very inspired listening to successful people,” the 28-year-old Gasly said. “And that’s the essence of Formula 1. You get access to all of these people to learn from. So, it’s great to have them on board, and I’m also a fan of what they’re doing.”

Ocon added, “It’s awesome for us being able to share our experiences with these guys who have been so successful in their respective jobs. It’s also so rich for us to see what they bring into that team. It’s for sure helping us in many different areas and they really see our passion when they come to the circuit.”

Alpine finished with its first points of the 2024 campaign in Miami, which Team Principal Bruno Famin called “satisfying.” As the season nears the halfway point, the team hopes this is the jump of confidence it needs heading into Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

“On this occasion, this is how it unfolded, and it was Esteban who scored the point in 10th place. It was a faultless race from everyone in the team – strategy, race management, pit stops – and we did enough to put ourselves in a position for the team to benefit,” Famin said. “It’s been a much more positive weekend here in Miami and we must keep striving for more if we are to keep fighting for higher positions. The hard work will continue as we eye up returning to Europe next time out.”

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Building the Next Generation

There might not be a woman motorsports driver competing at the pro level, but F1 is ensuring the next generation of racers won’t just be men. Founded in 2023, the F1 Academy is a female-only single-seater racing championship. The roster is made up of 15 drivers that are supported by individual investors and F1 teams.

Boardroom caught up with Abbi Pulling, Alpine’s F1 Academy driver ahead of her two wins from two races and scoring 57 points out of a maximum of 58. Much like the popular Netflix series Drive to Survive has contributed to the influx of F1 fans in the States, could Netflix have that same success with a spin-off dedicated to its female drivers?

“I think it’s really important to have someone kind of documenting the drivers,” said Pulling. “I think that’s what made Drive to Survive so popular, because it’s not just the media’s insight of the drivers that you see, it’s every aspect of their life. You go to their home or the race with them. But it gives you a really big sneak peek, so you see why it ended up being so popular with other spin-offs with a tennis and golf one.

“I know nothing about them in sports, but I watched them because it was so nice to see athletes in that kind of mindset and what they go through within their sport. So, it would be very nice to see a similar thing for us girls.”

Ocon followed the ladies from the three-season-long W Series to what we now know as F1 Academy. Much like F1 drivers are in the lab with engineers and designers to fine-tune their vehicles, he credited Pulling for putting in the same amount of effort in the lab as well.

“Seeing how much spotlight it has now and how rewarding for the drivers that are there is excellent,” Ocon said. “So, who’s winning the championship? I think, at the moment, Abbi’s very close. She has been testing and performing well alongside the boys.”

The F1 Academy provides aspiring racers with a unique opportunity to hone their skills, gain valuable experience, and ultimately compete at the highest level of motorsport. There’s a comprehensive development pathway in place that includes structured modules that explain various facets of racing, such as driving technique, physical fitness, mental toughness, and of course, technical proficiency.

Alpine praises the Academy for its commitment to growing its fanbase at the grassroots level. Most of the talent recruited comes from karting championships and regional competitions. Think of searching for diamonds in the rough and equipping them with the resources and support necessary to thrive in the intensely competitive world of Formula 1.

Does that mean we could eventually see a woman race amongst men in the F1 championship circuit?

“Hopefully, it will be me,” Pulling confidently said.

With how she continues to ascend, it’s only a matter of time before that becomes a reality.

As Formula 1 continues to pick up speed in the United States, Alpine stands in the limelight of this cultural shift, driving innovation, excitement, and a newfound appreciation for motorsport on American soil. With each season, Alpine reaffirms its place not only as a worthy competitor on the track but also as a driving force behind the remarkable growth of Formula 1 in the United States off the track.

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Vinciane Ngomsi

Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today, and most recently Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University, and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.

About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today, and most recently Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University, and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.