The stars of two popular Netflix sports series, Formula 1: Drive to Survive and Full Swing, will compete in the Netflix Cup, the streaming giant’s first live sports event. The tournament will take place next month at the Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas and will be streamed live on Netflix. The event will serve as a kickoff to the inaugural Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The roster for the Netflix Cup includes Formula 1 drivers such as Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris, and Carlos Sainz, as well as PGA Tour golfers Rickie Fowler, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa, and Justin Thomas. The teams will consist of one driver and one golfer, who will compete in an eight-hole match. The top two teams will then advance to the final hole for a chance at the Netflix Cup title.
Both Formula 1: Drive to Survive and Full Swing have gained popularity and increased fan engagement for their respective sports. Formula 1: Drive to Survive is currently in production on its sixth season, while Full Swing is finishing filming on its second season.
Gabe Spitzer, the Vice President of Nonfiction Sports at Netflix, expressed excitement about the event, stating, “The Netflix Cup will take that energy to the next level with global stars from two popular hits competing in our first-ever live sports event.” Emily Prazer, Chief Commercial Officer of Las Vegas Grand Prix, also acknowledged the impact of Formula 1: Drive to Survive on the growth of Formula 1 in the US.
The Netflix Cup will be produced by Excel Sports Management, BZ Entertainment, and Full Day Productions. Netflix has been expanding its sports programming, with series like Untold, Quarterback, Tour de France: Unchained, and Break Point. They also have upcoming series focusing on athletes in track and field, soccer, rugby, and NASCAR.
Although Netflix executives have been asked about airing live sports, they have stated their focus remains on “sports adjacent” programming and extensions of that. The Netflix Cup represents their foray into live sports and showcases the popularity and impact of their sports series.