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Investment Ethics and the Global Economy of Sports: The Norwegian Oil Fund, Formula 1 and the 2014 Russian Grand Prix


  • Hans Erik Næss

    (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology)


As a sovereign wealth fund, the $1 trillion Norwegian Government Pension Fund-Global (‘the Oil Fund’), which is managed by Norges Bank Investment Management on behalf of the welfare of Norway’s citizens, is supposed to be a flagship for socially responsible investments through its Council of Ethics. However, its investment in Delta Topco, the holding company of Formula 1 world championship that, through Formula One Group, brokered a deal with Russia to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2014, raises the question of whether the Oil Fund should enhance its due diligence processes. Although no evidence of corruption related to the race is introduced, the complex relation between financial logic and the world of sports still raises questions about the ethical solidity of the Oil Fund’s investment. Drawing upon reports of the relationship between political economy and sporting events, this paper therefore analyses, in light of the Oil Fund’s ethical guidelines, the complexities of its investment in Delta Topco. As a result, it is argued that a new set of examination methods by the Council of Ethics may be warranted.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Erik Næss, 2019. "Investment Ethics and the Global Economy of Sports: The Norwegian Oil Fund, Formula 1 and the 2014 Russian Grand Prix," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 158(2), pages 535-546, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:158:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10551-017-3751-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-017-3751-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

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