Tired of buying expensive tickets to watch your favorite pro sports team in action?
Fed up with waiting in lines, fighting for a good view of the action, and shelling
out for marked-up jerseys, beer and concessions? And after all that, do you feel
ultimately like you have no real impact on how your team actually performs?
What if you could skip all the lines, hold the best seat in the house and actually
shape the teams you hold so dear?
Have you considered an exciting and lucrative career as a professional sports
franchisee? It’s not as difficult as you might think, and the benefits of owning your
very own sports team can be extremely rewarding (and even lucrative!). Swagger
has broken down the path to this fulfilling profession into five easy steps than
anyone can do, so what are you waiting for?
Step One: Be a white person.
It seems the road to Sports ownership is made particularly easier for those of the
Caucasian persuasion. Though there are a limited number of African American
stakeholders in the four major American sports (NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB) one
majority stakeholder (The Charlotte Bobcats’ Michael Jordan, a retired basketball
player of note), and even a Japanese gentleman (Hiroshi Yamauchi of the Seattle
Mariners), far and away the lions share goes to white men. So if you’re a white male,
congratulations! You’ve already made that first step towards the big seat!
Step Two: Be stinking, filthy rich!
Sports owners come from a wide array of backgrounds, from investment bankers to
real estate magnates (like the Lakers’ late, beloved Jerry Buss and the Vikings own
Zygi Wilf ), to Tech billionaires like Paul Allen, Robert Pera and Mark Cuban. There’s
even a Love boat captain in Carnival Cruises’ Micky Arison (The NBA’s HEAT). The
one thing all these men have in common, is that they’ve made it big big big in their
respective fields! So if you have a passion and talent for crushing your opposition in
the world of business that’s led you to become on of the richest people on the planet,
you’re the stuff that Team ownership is made of!
Step Three: Inherit a Team!
The fact is, Professional sports ownership is, in large part, a closed fraternity, and
sometimes the best way to climb to the top of the mountain is to have it handed to
you by your father! James Dolan, after a so-so career in the music biz and a love
affair with drugs and alcohol, took over his dad’s Madison Square Garden empire,
running the day to day of both the Rangers and the Knicks, and over in the NFL,
exactly 9 present day owners got their place at the table through the family line.
Some people truly are born into greatness, how about you?
Step Four: Lie, Cheat, and Steal
their fair share of scoundrels. The NFL has long had an arms length (and sometimes
not-so-arms-length) relationship with the gambling business, but the ranks of NHL
ownership is particularly attractive place for shysters and cons. Famously, Bruce
McNall, the LA Kings majority owner in the 90s, got his start in illegal antiquities
trading, before getting thrown in the big house for fraud of over $236 million. But
that’s not all, one-time owners of the Islanders, the Devils and Sharks have all been
sent to the clink for financial shenanigans. Remember, in the world of high stakes
finance and in sports, it’s only illegal if you get caught!
Step Five: Already own a team!
Some Professional sports owners like the game so much, they’ve expanded their
business to include other sports! Larry Tanenbaum, chairs and owns a quarter of
Toronto’s sports empire MLS, including the Maple Leafs, the Raptors and the TFC,
(even though they’re all perennial losers, it’s still a lucrative position).
The NFL has rules about exclusive sports ownership (excluding Soccer) but savvy
businessmen don’t let that stop them! Stan Kroenke, the owner of The Avalanche
(NHL) and the Nuggets (NBA) put the Rams in the name of Josh, a fine loophole if
there ever was one. Paul Allen on the other hand, owns the Seahawks football club
and Trailblazers (NBA), because it’s hard for even Roger Goodell to say no to the
world’s 20 teams, David Braley owns both the Argonauts and the Lions, 25% of the league!
And that’s all there is to it! If you’re not athletically inclined but still want to feel the
glow of the arena’s lights, sports ownership may be the career for you!