Professional sports teams are often owned by extremely wealthy individuals or groups, and it’s natural to wonder where their wealth comes from. Many team owners are billionaires, and they have built their fortunes through a variety of industries and investments.
Some team owners, like Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks, made their fortunes through tech startups or other entrepreneurial ventures. Cuban sold his first company, MicroSolutions, for $6 million in 1990, and went on to co-found the internet radio company Broadcast.com, which was sold to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in 1999. Cuban is now estimated to be worth over $4 billion.
Other team owners, like Stan Kroenke of the Los Angeles Rams, made their fortunes through real estate development. Kroenke’s company, The Kroenke Group, has developed some of the most valuable commercial and residential properties in the United States, and he is currently estimated to be worth over $10 billion.
Of course, becoming a billionaire and owning a sports team is not an easy task. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and often a bit of luck (or parents). However, there are some steps you can take if you’re interested in working towards that goal.
One option is to focus on building a successful career in an ultra high-paying industry, such as technology or finance that attracts and builds relationships with ultra high net worth individuals. This can provide the capital and network needed to make investments that could eventually lead to sports team ownership.
Another option is to become involved in sports in a different capacity, such as becoming a successful athlete or coach. This could provide valuable connections and experience in the sports industry, which could lead to opportunities for ownership.
Prime opportunities are also when sports teams are growing or in their infancy, when they are a riskier investment. It’s important to network and build relationships with others in the sports industry. Attending conferences, events, and even games can provide opportunities to meet influential individuals and learn about potential investment opportunities.
Most team owners have accumulated their wealth through a variety of industries and investments, with some industries being more relevant and easier to break into today than they were in the past. While becoming a billionaire and owning a sports team is not an easy task, it’s possible to work towards that goal by building a ultra-successful career, becoming involved in sports, and networking within the industry.
Certainly, there are other routes to become a sports team owner aside from starting your own business or being a successful investor. One is inheriting wealth from a family member who already owns a team. Many of the wealthiest team owners in sports today have inherited their wealth from their parents or grandparents who were also successful entrepreneurs or investors.
And another way to become a sports team owner is to be an extremely successful athlete aka GOAT level athlete, using endorsements and massive success to amass a fortune. One of the most well-known examples of this is Michael Jordan, who retired from basketball in 2003 and is now worth over $2 billion, thanks in part to his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets. Other successful athlete-owners include Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Dodgers), David Beckham (Inter Miami CF), and Shaquille O'Neal (Sacramento Kings).
However, it is important to note that these routes to sports team ownership are not guaranteed or easily accessible for most people. Inheriting wealth or becoming an incredibly successful athlete require a great deal of luck and skill, and there are very few sports teams available for purchase at any given time. For those who aspire to become team owners, the best approach is to start by building a successful business or career, investing wisely, and networking within the sports industry to find potential opportunities.