A sports representation agency has decided to get into the team ownership business.

NBC and ESPN reported on Tuesday night that Spire Sports + Entertainment, an agency that represents drivers and sponsors and works with several teams, has purchased an ownership charter from Furniture Row Racing.

The group will field a No. 77 Chevrolet with a TBA driver and sponsor combination. Specifically, the team will be co-owned by Spire team owners Jeff Dickerson and T.J. Puchyr.

"We think this is the perfect time to buy in," Dickerson told NBC Sports. "Our guys sit in board rooms and tell people how much they believe in the sport. We believe in this sport. We believe in the leadership."

This is a new frontier for NASCAR as a marketing firm itself has never owned a team. Specifically, Spire has clients across Toyota, Chip Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and GMS Racing, with Kyle Larson, James Hinchcliffe, Landon Cassill, Ross Chastain, Todd Gilliland, Justin Haley, Vinnie Miller and Garrett Smithley.

Spire also purchased one of the most lucrative charters. The ownership franchises are valued based on performance over the past three seasons. With a championship and runner-up finish over the past two years, the new No. 77 charter stands to pay near the top of all ownership tokens each year.

The charters pay the owners off a combination of results and charter value. The value is at least three times as much as a nonchartered entrant.

Furniture Row Racing ceased operations after this season upon losing 5 Hour Energy as a sponsor amid an increase in cost to lease equipment from Joe Gibbs Racing.

Source: Autoweek

December 5, 2018