Famous Sports Fans Who Invested in Their Own Teams
We all have hidden fantasies about what we would do if we had millions, or even billions, of dollars. If your daydreams are fueled by a love of professional sports, then get ready to live vicariously through these super-rich sports investors. Here you'll find celebrities who you had no idea owned sports teams as well as some of the wealthiest businessmen to invest in their favorite games. As you'll soon discover, sports ownership is not a bad way to go when looking to invest.
From 1993- 2015, David Letterman was the host of the aptly named late-night talk show, The Late Show With David Letterman. Having hosted over 6,000 episodes over the course of his career, Letterman eventually surpassed his mentor Johnny Carson and currently holds the record as the longest-running late-night talk show host in American TV history.
While comedic legend Bill Murray is known for his roles in films like Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, he's also a huge baseball fan. An avid Chicago Cubs supporter in his own right, Murray has also invested in and brought his humor to a number of minor league teams.
Over the years, Drew Carey has become a man of many titles. He began his career as a stand-up comic, became the lead actor in The Drew Carey Show from 1995-2004 and has hosted hit shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway? and The Price Is Right.
If there's one guy who knows how to make money, it's billionaire Stan Kroenke, husband of fellow billionaire and Wal-Mart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke. According to Forbes, Kroenke is currently worth an estimated $9.7 billion, thanks in part to his investments in various sports teams.
While some may think of sports as a male-dominated industry, Jeanie Buss continues to take names and shatter stereotypes. Daughter of the late Jerry Buss, Jeanie is currently the controlling owner and president of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers.
When legendary Yankee's owner George "The Boss" Steinbrenner passed away in 2010, the iconic baseball team was inherited by his sons Harold "Hal" Steinbrenner and his brother Hank. Hal has largely taken the reins and currently serves as the principal owner, co-chairman and managing general partner of the Yankees.
Whether you're a fan of country music or not, you likely know exactly who Tim McGraw is. The husband of fellow country music legend Faith Hill, McGraw has also had considerable luck as an actor. Having starred in movies such as The Blind Side and Friday Night Lights, it may come as no surprise that he's also a football fan.
How does a former college professor transform into a sports team owner with a net worth of $2.7 billion? Ask Jeffery Lurie, the former professor of social policy turned two-time Oscar-winning producer and owner of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.
You probably know him as the rock star with the world's craziest tongue, but it turns out that KISS band member Gene Simmons is always up for a good game of football. Unfortunately for Simmons and other L.A. based fans, there wasn't much football to be found in Los Angeles back in 2013.
While an estimated 60% of NBA players go broke within 5 years of retiring, Shaquille O'Neal definitely isn't in danger of falling into that statistic. The former professional basketball star currently enjoys an estimated net worth of $400 million. His money-making avenues come from jobs as a sports analyst, promotional deals, franchise ownerships, and savvy investments.
We could all take a lesson from Arthur Blank when it comes to turning a bad situation into an opportunity. When Blank and his friend Bernie Marcus got fired from a regional hardware store, they decided to open up a store of their own. It was called Home Depot, and Blank is now worth $5.4 Billion.
You name it, Phillip Anschutz has probably made money from it. Anschutz’s $11.5 billion fortune is the result of his work in the oil, telecom, real estate, entertainment and even railroad industries. The guy even owns Coachella as well as 100 arenas and concert venues around the world.
Although Paul Allen passed away in 2018, he will forever be remembered as the co-founder of Microsoft as well as a celebrated investor and philanthropist who was said to be worth around $20 million dollars at the time of his death.
Will Ferrell first established his unquestionable hilarity on SNL and has gone on to star in plenty of comedies such as Elf, Old School, and Anchor Man. With a net worth of around $100 million, he fully embraced his sports fandom by becoming co-owner of a professional soccer team called the Los Angeles FC.
As a six-time NBA champion and hall of fame member who is widely regarded as one of the best basketball players of all time, it's no surprise that Michael Jordan didn't leave sports behind upon retiring. Though he may no longer take to the court during games, he's currently the majority holder of the Charlotte Hornets.
When it comes to the most controversial team owners in professional sports, James Dolan is likely to make the list. A businessman by trade, Dolan is the executive chairman and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company as well as the executive chairman of MSG Networks.
Jerry Jones is one flush guy, with an estimated net worth of $8.5 billion. While he made much of his original fortune in the oil industry, his life changed forever when he purchased the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 for $150 million.
Ranking in at number nine on Forbe's 2019 list of the top 400 wealthiest Americans, Steve Ballmer is currently worth a staggering $58.8 billion. As CEO of Microsoft from 2000 to 2014, Ballmer found himself in the position to do pretty much whatever he wanted after stepping down from his position.
While Mark Cuban may look familiar, odds are that you probably recognize him from Shark Tank rather than from ESPN. With a net worth of $4.1 billion and a shrewd eye for investment opportunities, it may come as a surprise that his ownership of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks had nothing to do with making money.
Love him or hate him, Bill Maher succeeded in turning his controversial political commentary into a net worth of a rumored $100 million. While he may have harsh views on a lot of things, it seems that the New York Mets aren't necessarily one of them.
As hip-hop's first certified billionaire, Jay-Z is one of the world's most successful rappers. Alongside his best selling albums, he's also invested in everything from alcohol to real estate, and he was once a co-owner of the Brooklyn Nets with a $1 million stake he purchased in 2004.
After the 2018 death of Tom Benson, who owned both the NFL's New Orleans Saints and NBA's New Orleans Pelicans, widow Gayle found herself the owner of both teams. Suddenly finding herself one of the most powerful women in the NFL, Benson has risen to the challenge.
You may have seen Robert Kraft's name in the news lately over some unsavory business involving a Florida massage parlor. However, legal trouble's aside, the guy has made quite a name for himself, not to mention somewhere in the arena of $6.9 billion.
Terry Pegula first started out with a $7,500 loan in 1983 which he used to get his start in the natural gas industry. He went on to make his fortune in fracking and is currently estimated by Forbes to be worth $4.9 billion.
If you've ever eaten at Landry's or Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., then you have billionaire Tilman Fertitta to thank. He owns not only that restaurant brand, but also the lucrative Gold Nugget Casino chain. Part of his $4.8 billion net worth was also earned through the world of sports.
Back in the 1950s, Ted Lerner was simply a guy with a dream who was able to convince his wife to loan him $250. As it would turn out, her trust was well placed, because Lerner would turn that $250 into a $5.5 billion family fortune.
Ted Leonsis originally built his fortune as a Sr. Executive at AOL and co-founder of a venture capital firm called Revolution Growth. These days, however, the billionaire's focus is more on his position as the majority owner and CEO of Monumental Sports.
Tom Gores is the founder of a private Beverly Hills equity firm called Platinum Equity, which oversees more than 25 companies. With a $5.6 billion net worth, Gores decided to dive headfirst into the NBA in 2011 when he and Platinum Equity purchased the Detroit Pistons.
At just 22-years-old, Dan Gilbert co-founded the company that would become Quicken Loans, the internet's largest mortgage lender. Currently boasting a net worth of $6.9 billion, Gilbert has become more recognizable to many sports fans as the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While some rumors claim that Justin Timberlake is now the man behind the Memphis Grizzlies, the truth is that he's actually only a minority owner. The majority owner is a guy named Robert Pera, who's also the founder and CEO of Ubiquiti Networks. Oh, and he's also worth $9.4 billion.