Ten Celebrity Sports Team Owners
It’s not uncommon to see celebrities cross over in the world of entertainment and sports is definitely entertainment. Many actors and actresses have released their own studio album or novel. Sports icons have been making cameo’s and even starring in their own movies and television shows.
It seems as though many are looking to enhance their experience, portfolio, or just be involved in a passion they might not have landed in themselves. For example, many celebrities’ own sports teams, from minor to major league baseball to NFL teams and more.
Not only does their name bring something to the team, but their enthusiasm for the sports industry and desire to be involved in some way, adds a level of excitement.
See which stars desire to be more than just a fan.
10 Bill Maher: New York Mets
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Maher was part of a group contributing $20 million each for a stake in the major league baseball team. The comedian and television host was helping the Wilpon family, when they lost a large amount of money in the Bernie Madoff scandal. In 2020, Maher tripled his investment when Steve Cohen bought the Mets, according to Go Banking Rates.
9 Justin Timberlake: Memphis Grizzlies
The singer, actor and well-known sports fan owns part of the NBA team out of Tennessee in a group purchase from Tennmann Group, LLC. In 2012, the group paid $5 million for nearly three percent ownership. Timberlake was born in Memphis and sought to support his hometown team.
8 Usher: Cleveland Cavaliers
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Usher also participated in a group purchase of the Cleveland NBA team in 2005 for $375 million, just in time to see LeBron James help the team to five NBA finals and a 2016 championship. According to Go Banking Rates, Usher paid $9 million for his share.
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7 Bill Murray: St. Paul Saints
The iconic actor has long-since been a major Chicago Cubs fan but loves and supports minor league baseball as well. He owns portions of the St. Paul Saints (independent team), Charleston RiverDogs, Hudson Valley Renegades and Brockton Rox. Amounts paid for partial ownership is unknown.
6 Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith: Philadelphia 76ers
The Smith’s have a busy schedule between singing, acting and hosting a talk show, but that didn’t stop the couple from buying a portion of the NBA team in 2011. The group purchase cost $280 million. Smith went to high school in West Philadelphia and was excited to buy into his hometown team.
5 Michael Jordan: Hornets
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The famous NBA star stepped away from playing basketball and into owning a basketball team. Jordan bought a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats in 2005 and became the head of basketball operations. In 2010, Jordan bought the majority stake from its current holder, becoming the first former NBA star to own a majority share in another NBA team. Shortly after the purchase, the Bobcats name was changed to the Hornets according to Gameday News.
4 Magic Johnson: Los Angeles Dodgers
The former NBA star has part ownership in several teams in Los Angeles. He was part of a group that paid $2 billion to buy the Dodgers in 2012. Then in 2014, he purchased stake in the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks and was a catalyst to expand the Los Angeles Football Club to Major League Soccer.
3 David Letterman: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Of course, the Indiana native has roots in the Indy 500 and racing in general. As a big fan, Letterman bought a share in a friends racing team, winning the Indy 500 for the first time in 2004. They won again in 2020 with driver Takuma Sato.
2 George W. Bush: Texas Rangers
The former president has a minor stake in the professional baseball team. Purchased in 1989 for $86 million as a group, Bush had to find $500,000 for his portion and borrowed the money from a Midland bank. Credited with putting the group together to make the final purchase, and under much scrutiny for land acquisitions, a new stadium was built and Bush’s stake increased to 11.8 percent of the team, according to Public Integrity.
1 Gloria Estefan, Fergie, Serena and Venus Williams, Marc Anthony: Miami Dolphins
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In 2009, majority owner of the NFL team, Stephen Ross, sold minority shares to a large group of celebrities for $10 million. Each own one percent of the team. Though Ross paid 95 percent for his stake in the team, he wanted to have his ownership group reflect the Miami diversity, pulling in different industries, ethnicities and leaders.
Ownership comes and goes as celebrities move on to other opportunities. Iconic rapper Jay-Z began his own sports representation agency, Roc Nation but it meant he had to sell his stake in the Brooklyn Nets. The original cost was $1 million in 2004 and Jay-Z sold it to former NBA player Jason Kidd for the second-largest sum for team stake in NBA history.
Jennifer Lopez was part of the group purchase of the Miami Dolphins, but lost her stake in her divorce to singer, Marc Anthony. It’s been reported Lopez has looked for similar opportunities and will eventually purchase again.
Rapper and singer, Nelly was part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) until Michael Jordan bought the majority share in 2010.
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Sources: Go Banking Rates, Gameday News, Public Integrity
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