Deal Gives Fans Chance To Buy Stake In IRL Team 2009: Partnership Launched

Deal gives fans chance to buy stake in IRL team

A partnership launched Monday will offer fans a chance to buy into Viso’s HVM Racing team, much like fans of the Green Bay Packers
and other sports teams around the world have done. The alliance between HVM and iTeam Sports allows access and interaction with the IRL IndyCar Series team and ownership, among other perks. “There’s a disconnect right now between fans and teams, and this lets us inside,” said iTeam Sports founder and President Steve Levenson, whose company has introduced similar models in minor league baseball. HVM is fielding a two-Honda effort at Indy with Venezuelan driver Viso and French rookie Nelson Philippe. The deal between HVM and iTeam Sports runs through the 2011 season 10% of fees will go to charity. “I think it’s an interesting idea,” IRL Commercial Division President Terry Angstadt said. “It would be very good if you could have that value exchange that does engage fans and gives them that sense of ownership to follow one car/driver combination over another. We wish them the best.” Viso (221.745 mph) was 21st of 22 qualifiers during Sunday’s second session before being bumped in the final minute by Scott Sharp. Philippe crashed during practice Saturday but was unhurt. They are among at least a dozen drivers trying to earn one of 11 berths during Saturday’s third qualifying rounds for the May 24 race. “It gives great opportunity to a lot of fans to be involved,” HVM team principal and owner Keith Wiggins said of the joint venture.
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