One way for successful business owners, CEOs, and entrepreneurs to diversify their wealth is through purchasing sports franchises. By owning teams, the billionaires create additional revenue streams that can help contribute to their overall net worth. While some of these billionaires have played sports themselves, others are lifelong fans who want to participate in the excitement however they can. Here is a list of the top eight richest franchise owners in America.
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8 Stanley Kroenke, Los Angeles Rams – $8.2 Billion
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Kroenke originally purchased the Rams in St. Louis in 2010 for $750 million. He then moved the team to Los Angeles in 2016. The Rams are just one small part of Kroenke’s massive sports empire. As CEO and Chairman of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, he also owns the Denver Nuggets, Arsenal FC, Colorado Rapids, Waggoner Ranch, the Los Angeles Gladiators, and the Los Angeles Guerrillas.
7 Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys – $8.7 Billion
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Jones originally purchased the Cowboys for $140 million back in 1989 and during his leadership, the franchise has increased to over $5.5 billion in value.
Jones initially made his fortune through the oil and gas industry in Arkansas. He founded the company Arkoma with Mike McCoy who would later become Vice President of the Cowboys. Their partnership led to several business deals including one with Sheffield Nelson and Mack McLarty, ultimately resulting in the highly controversial Whitewater scandal.
Jones is also known for having played football himself. Jones attended the University of Arkansas where he played as co-captain of the 1964 National Championships football team.
6 Hasso Plattner, San Jose Sharks – $8.9 Billion
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Plattner is known for being the co-founder of the software company SAP SE. He is also known for having started an eponymous Venture Capital fund. His financial decisions led him to earn the number 1 spot on Time Magazine Europe’s list of Top Important and Influential IT Personalities.
Having been the majority owner of the San Jose Sharks since 2010, it wasn’t until 2013 that he purchased the team outright. He also owns several major golf courses including the CordeValle Golf Club and the Fancourt Golf Estate.
5 Philip Anschutz, Los Angeles Kings – $10.1 Billion
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Anschutz is one of California’s most diversified and successful businessmen. His business ventures include companies within the fields of energy, railroads, and real estate. He has owned several newspapers including The Oklahoman, The San Francisco Examiner, and the Weekly Standard. In addition to the Kings, he also owns a share of the Los Angeles Lakers, The Staple Center, and the music festival Coachella.
He is also well-known for being one of the early proponents of Major League Soccer and has owned several teams throughout his career including the Los Angeles Galaxy, Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Houston Dynamo, San Jose Earthquakes, and D.C. United.
4 Joseph Tsai, Brooklyn Nets – $11.8 Billion
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Having purchased a stake in the team in 2017, Tsai became the full owner in 2019 when he purchased the Nets and the Barclays Center for $2.35 billion. He is the co-founder and executive chairman for the Chinese-based conglomerate Alibaba Group which focuses on e-commerce. In addition to the basketball team, Tsai is also an investor in the Major League Soccer team Los Angeles FC along with fellow celebrities and investors such as Will Ferrel, Magic Johnson, and Mia Hamm Garciaparra.
3 David Tepper, Carolina Panthers – $14.5 Billion
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Tepper set the NFL purchasing record when he bought the Panthers in 2018 for $2.275 billion. Tepper is the founder and president of the Appaloosa Management hedge fund which landed him a spot on Forbes’s list of the Highest Earning Hedge Fund Managers of 2018.
In addition to the NFL, Tepper also owns a Major League Soccer franchise, Charlotte FC. He set the MLS record as well when he purchased the team in December of 2019 for $325 million.
2 Steve Cohen, New York Mets – $16 Billion
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The most recent addition to the list, Steve Cohen, purchased the New York Mets in September of 2020 for $2.42 billion. Cohen has been a controversial hedge fund manager who made headlines after his company Point72 lost 15% of their $19 billion in assets after the company bet against GameStop. Cohen also chose to bail out Melvin Capital for their same error, resulting in a cash payout of $3 billion. Cohen was also accused by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy of interfering with the Robinhood trading app, requesting restrictions to secure his assets. Shortly after the conversation, Cohen deleted his Twitter.
1 Steve Ballmer, Los Angeles Clippers – $76.3 Billion
Earning the number one spot on the list is former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Ballmer originally bought the Clippers for a record-setting $2 billion back in 2014. The purchase raised his overall net worth from $41.2 billion to over $76.3 billion.
Originally hired by fellow billionaire Bill Gates in 1980, Ballmer worked his way up to becoming president of the company in 1998 and later CEO in 2000. Ballmer retired from Microsoft in 2014 and shortly after purchased the team. He then went on to purchase The Forum venue in Inglewood in March of 2020 for $400 million in cash. He intends to utilize the purchase to build a new Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center in a nearby location.
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