Athletes are Pursuing Ownership Stakes in Professional Sports Teams More Than Ever
By: Tymier Farrar
The narrative of there being a disconnect in relationships between players and owners is slowly taking a new turn, as there has been a large increase in players seeking to join ownership groups to purchase stakes in professional sports teams.
Thanks to the power of sports marketing, endorsement deals, broadcasting, and collective bargaining agreements, we have seen a vast increase in player salaries as years have gone by. Seemingly as of recently, every year, athletes' salaries are increasing, thus creating even larger importance on financial literacy for these players, and encouragement for them to venture into investment stakes.
Players like Michael Jordan, an epitome of his sport, were one of the initial and prime examples of an athlete purchasing a stake into a professional sports team, on a grand scale, in the NBA team, Charlotte Hornets. He was able to do so, nearly 7 years after he played his last game in the NBA. At this time, a very impressive feat for a former superstar, but more recently we’ve seen a development of today’s superstars seeking to pursue stakes in franchises, during their career.
Prime examples of this would be Patrick Mahomes, and his purchase as a minority owner of the MLB franchise, Kansas City Royals. Additionally, the recently largely documented acquisition of Renee Montgomery, and her purchase into the stake of WNBA franchise Atlanta Dream, in which she received huge support from around the country. The most recent representation of player ownership, LeBron James, acquiring a stake of minority ownership with the Boston Red Sox, or even younger stars realizing the popularity of ownership stake with Lamelo Ball seeking the acquisition of his overseas franchise, in his bid to buy the Illawarra Hawks, the Australian basketball club for which he played with, in 2019.
You can expect to see more athletes both current and former, seek to purchase ownership in professional sports teams. Ownership of sports teams can be described as trophy assets, with bulletproof competitive positions, revenue streams, and customer loyalty. These safe investments for these wealthy athletes are allowing for them to leave their influence, their experience, and their love for the game as an imprint on these teams they find so favorable.