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News & Notes

The Drone Racing League Announces New Funding and Sponsors for 2017 Season

And Amazon Prime Video is just one big name

June 12, 2017

The Drone Racing League (DRL) announced today new funding of more than $20 million and several new sponsors, just as the league’s 2017 season is about to begin.

Its new partners and sponsors include Amazon (Prime Video), Swatch, FORTO Coffee Shots, and the U.S. Air Force. Those are joined by the previously announced Allianz (main sponsor) and Toy State.

"We're incredibly proud to announce new partners and investors aligning with DRL to solidify drone racing as the sport of the future," Nicholas Horbaczewski, CEO and founder of DRL, said in a news release. "Over the past 18 months, we've committed to building a technology company that can capture the imagination of new sports fans around the world. The support we have from some of the most respected brands and investors is helping us rapidly realize that vision."

Also, the 2017 Allianz World Championship Race takes place tomorrow, June 13, in London. Eight contenders will fly the Racer3 drone, which is built by DRL’s in-house engineers and can reach speeds of up to 85 mph, in London’s first professional drone race.

The final gate at the championship race is sponsored by Amazon Prime Video series The Grand Tour, which is a British motoring show hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May (you may also know them from BBC’s Top Gear). [Editor’s note: I highly recommend watching the British Top Gear, prior to the departure of the original three hosts. It’s on Netflix.]

"Jeremy, James, and Richard have made a career out of thinking up near-impossible stunts and making them a reality," Mike Benson, director of marketing for Amazon Prime Video, said in a news release. "This collaboration with the Drone Racing League, innovators, and creators of this exciting new sport, is a natural fit."

The 2017 DRL season begins June 20. You can watch it on ESPN, Sky Sports, and other broadcast channels in more than 75 countries.

Check out our May/June 2017 issue of Drone360 magazine to learn more about Horbaczewski’s “brutally realistic” approach to the DRL and his dream drone racecourse.
Featured image: Drone Racing League