Celebrities Who Own Sports Teams

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Celebrities Who Own Sports Teams

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Ryan Reynolds & Rob McElHenney: Wrexham AFC

Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney.
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Reynolds and McElhenney bought the English National League team back in 2020 and to quell the curiosities of many fans who were asking why the two stars would embark on such an undertaking, they released a documentary chronicling the entire process.

At the time of purchase, Wrexham was at the bottom of the National League but may have gotten a boost of confidence as they managed to finish second the following year and even reached the FA trophy finals, reports Esquire.




LeBron James: Boston Red Sox

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Though terms of the deal were kept under the radar, NBA superstar Lebron James and his business partner Maverick Carter became partners in the Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and acquired minority stake ownership in the Boston Red Sox in March 2021.

But this was hardly his first foray into sports ownership with FSG. The four-time NBA Champion bought a two percent stake in the soccer team Liverpool F.C. back in 2011. However, he relinquished those shares for ownership in FSG instead.



David Beckham: Inter Miami CF & Salford City

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Shortly after retiring in 2013, soccer legend David Beckham began talks to become part owner of an MLS team to be launched in Miami. After a long and arduous process that lasted several years, Inter Miami CF made its debut in 2020 with Beckham as minority stakeholder.

That changed in 2021, however, when Beckham—along with brothers Jorge and Jose Mas—bought out former co-owners Marcelo Claure and Masayoshi Son and became majority stakeholders of the team, reports ESPN.

But his soccer team ownership is not just stateside. In 2019, the former Manchester United midfielder also acquired a 10 percent stake in Salford City F.C. which is based in the U.K.




Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos: Campobasso 1919 and Ascoli FC

Campobasso 1919

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos announced in Nov. 2022 that they are investing in two Italian soccer teams, Campobasso 1919 and Ascoli FC, and will take on a co-ownership role with Campobasso to help it return to success in the Italian soccer league.

Consuelos told PEOPLE the team’s “underdog” status is part of why the couple wanted to get involved. “When I heard the story about these fans being at risk of losing the sport they love, Kelly and I wanted to get involved and be part of the solution,” he said.



Tom Brady: Unnamed Pickleball Team

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Tom Brady has plenty of accomplishments: Seven-time Superbowl champion, great businessman, father of three and, as of Oct. 2022, part owner of a pickleball team.

That’s right, the Buccaneers quarterback signed on to be “part of an ownership group of an expansion team that will begin play in the 2023 MLP season,” reports Front Office Sports. Also on that list of owners is six-time Grand Slam tennis champ Kim Clijsters.

“Look, I’ve been trying to find a way to extend my professional sports career, in my 40s, even into my 50s, 60s, 70s! As long as I can, right? And I think I got the answer,” he joked in an Instagram video making the announcement. “Seems like everyone else has the answer too: pickleball!”




Michael B. Jordan: AFC Bournemouth

Michael B. Jordan.
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He may know his way around the boxing arena, but in real life, the Creed actor is a minority investor of the English soccer team AFC Bournemouth. Though percentages and dollar amounts were not revealed, the Premier League announced that American businessman Bill Foley led the acquisition deal as majority leader while Jordan led the minority group to acquire the team, per ESPN.



Alex Rodriguez: Minnesota Timberwolves

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In 2021, Rodriguez joined the NBA as part owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves and its WNBA counterpart, the Minnesota Lynx.

The deal was first reached in spring of 2021 with Rodriguez and entrepreneur Marc Lore agreeing to buy out former owner Glen Taylor for a whopping $1.5 billion. According to NBA.com, Rodriguez and Lore began the process with an initial transfer of 20 percent stake in 2021 and they have the option to buy another 20 percent in 2022 plus another 40 percent in 2023 to hold the majority.




Marc Anthony: Miami Dolphins

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Marc Anthony has been in the ownership business for over a decade as the “Vivir Mi Vida” singer acquired minority stake ownership of the Miami Dolphins back in 2009.

“I’m a huge sports fan,” the king of Salsa told PEOPLE at the time. “These opportunities don’t come around too often. It’s quite an honor and a privilege to be able to sit here today saying that I’m a part-owner of an NFL team.”

Other celebrity minority owners include Fergie, Gloria and Emilio Estefan as well as Venus and Serena Williams.



Michael Jordan: Charlotte Hornets

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Michael Jordan’s dedication to the game of basketball is world- renowned, so it’s no surprise that the NBA legend owns a team of his own. The six-time NBA champion purchased the Charlotte Hornets (then Bobcats) for a cool $275 million back in 2010.

According to ESPN, Jordan had been serving as minority investor since 2006, but the purchase gave him majority stake and the title of becoming the first ex-player in the league to have done so.




Usher: Cleveland Cavaliers

Usher.
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When the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship in 2016, so many people were curious as to why the singer was so thrilled, especially because he is famously from Atlanta. It turns out, however, that the eight time Grammy award-winner is a minority owner in the Cavs.

According to Forbes, Usher doled out a cool $9 million for the Cavs back in 2005. This was around the same time the famed owner Dan Gilbert was acquiring the franchise.



Nelly

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Another musician who got into the sports team ownership business early was Nelly (real name Cornell Haynes Jr.). The “Hot in Herre” rapper signed on to be minority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) back in 2004. Financial terms of the deal were never disclosed nor was the stake percentage.

“Of the many dreams that I have fulfilled in life, being an NBA owner is certainly one of the biggest achievements,” Nelly said at the time. “To be able to make this move with Bob Johnson and to be a part of the first-ever minority owned professional sports franchise in history is a great opportunity.”




Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith: Philadelphia 76-ers

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2022 Oscars.
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Philly native Will Smith along with wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, made a bid to be minority owners of his hometown NBA team, the 76ers, back in 2011.

“There is nothing like — in all of entertainment — than to walk into the building when it’s announced that you’re a part owner of your hometown basketball team,” Smith said during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2016. “If the team doesn’t win, it sucks later. But initially it’s like ‘Yeahhh, Will!”



Justin Timberlake: Memphis Grizzlies

Justin Timberlake.
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The Memphis-born “Sexy Back” singer became a minority stakeholder in the Memphis Grizzlies back in 2012. At the time, Robert Pera, a tech entrepreneur, was in talks to buy the team from long term owner Michael Heisley, and Timberlake decided to join as part of Pera’s team of minority partners, reports ESPN.

According to the Memphis Flyer, the singer put in $5 million via his investment group, Tennman Sports, LLC, which gave him a 2.84 percent stake in the team.




Bill Murray: Hudson Valley Renegades, Charleston RiverDogs & Brockton Rox

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Hollywood icon Bill Murray loves minor league baseball. So much so that he owns three teams —the Hudson Valley Renegades, Charleston RiverDogs and the Brockton Rox. And while details of his ownership in each team are scarce, the Ghostbusters legend enthusiastically serves as the “director of fun” for the RiverDogs.



Magic Johnson: L.A. Dodgers and L.A. Sparks

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He may have stopped playing basketball in 1996, but Magic Johnson’s noteworthy sports career didn’t end on the court.

In 2012, the MLB and former L.A. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt was at odds about how the latter was handling the team and the Dodgers went up for sale. Led by Magic Johnson, the Guggenheim Baseball Management bought the team for a whopping $2.5 billion dollars, reports The Sports Rush—the largest amount of money that had been paid for a sports franchise at the time.

Two years later, when the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks were in trouble, Johnson again led a group of investors to claim stakes in the team, allowing them to not only stay in the league, but remain the L.A. home team.




Michelle Williams: Chicago Sky

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When the WNBA launched their 14th team in 2006, the Chicago Sky, they also announced that Michelle Williams was a minority owner in the franchise. A native of Rockford, Illinois, the move made sense for the former Destiny’s Child singer.

“I’m thrilled to have a stake in the WNBA as it expands into my hometown with the Chicago Sky,” Williams said at the time. “It’s great to be part of an organization such as the WNBA that is not only exciting and fun, but fosters a strong sense of empowerment in girls and women. I’m looking forward to being in the front row at Chicago Sky games and cheering them on to many championship seasons.”



Giannis Antetokuompo: Milwaukee Brewers

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Fresh off taking the Milwaukee Bucks to NBA Championship glory, the power forward bought an undisclosed stake in the MLB team Milwaukee Brewers.

“This is a dream come true for a kid from Sepolia, Athens, Greece, born from immigrant parents,” Antetokounmpo said at a press conference. “I could have never imagined I would be in this position.”

And there is no better place to invest than the state that’s given so much to him. “I just love Milwaukee,” Antetokounmpo said. “They found a diamond in the rough, in the dust. They believed in me, they trusted me, they embraced me. The city has loved me and my family and I want to give that love back now.”




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