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FeaturesMelting potThe A-listersKroenke heads list of global sports tycoons as USA switches on to THE global game

Kroenke heads list of global sports tycoons as USA switches on to THE global game

by

By Nick Harris

SJA Internet Sports Writer of the Year

11 May 2012

The world’s foremost sports tycoons, many of them US entertainment entrepreneurs, are increasingly turning to football as America’s interest in the sport grows and as Stateside investors realise there is only one truly global game.

Sportingintelligence has compiled a list of the 22 men – and they are all men – who each own at least two teams across a range of the world’s different major sports leagues / competitions, all of which can claim global fan bases, albeit of different magnitudes.

For the purpose of this study, we considered North America’s big five leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS), plus the world’s ‘big five’ football leagues (England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A, Germany’s Bundesliga and France’s Ligue 1) plus the IPL (the richest sports league in Asia, the world’s biggest continent), plus global motor sport’s two richest circuits, F1 and NASCAR.

The 22 men on the list each own a minimum of two teams from these competitions, and 15 of them own at least one football team. Between them, they own 18 football teams (highlighted by logos in list below), nine NHL ice hockey teams, eight NBA teams, eight MLB teams, six NFL teams, five Premier League teams, four Formula One teams, an IPL team, a Ligue 1 team, a Liga team and a NASCAR team.

The single league where these Multi-Sport Tycoons (MSTs) converge in the biggest number, appropriately enough, is in the MLS in America, where 11 of the 19 teams are owned by an ‘MST’.

The 22 MSTs are comprised of 17 Americans, an Austrian, a Canadian, an Indian, a Malaysian and a Qatari family.

We have ranked the 22 MSTs by the following criteria:

1: the number of ‘major’ teams they own from our nominated leagues.

2: if major teams are equal then on the number of other teams they own in ‘smaller’ leagues.

3: if major teams and other teams are equal, then the MSTs are split on on net worth.

Stan Kroenke, the majority shareholder of Arsenal in the Premier League as well as the owner of the MLS’s Colorado Rapids, the NFL’s St. Louis Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche (NHL), owns more major teams (5) than anyone in world sport, as well as several venues.

Kroenke recently failed in a bid to add a sixth team, baseball’s LA Dodgers.

He is followed in our list (in full below) by Phil Anschutz (four major teams and seven others) and Austria’s Dietrich Mateschitz (three major teams and four others).

The 22 MSTs have a combined net worth of $135.59 billion, from the Al Thani royal family of Qatar ($85 billion) to Dave Checketts (c.$100m).

The percentage of teams in different leagues owned by MSTs is as follows:  MLS, 11 of 18 (58 per cent); Formula One, 4 of 12 (33 per cent); NHL,  9 of 30 (30 per cent); NBA 8 of 30 (27 per cent); MLB, 8 of 30 (27 per cent); Premier League 5 of 20 (25 per cent); NFL, 6 of 32 (19 per cent); IPL 1 of 9 (11 per cent); NASCAR 1 of 21 (five per cent); Ligue 1, 1 of 20 (5 per cent); La Liga, 1 of 20 (five per cent).

No Serie A or Bundesliga teams are owned by MSTs. While Juventus of Serie A are owned by the Agnelli family, via a company called Exor which also holds a significant stake in Fiat, the ultimate parent company that own’s F1’s Ferrari, Fiat is a publicly listed company. As such, no individual Agnelli has personal dominion over both the football club and racing team in the same way as the 22 MSTs influence their sports properties.

Anyone looking for trends in sports ownership will note the increasing amount of US owners in English football in recent years, from the Glazers at Manchester United to Randy Lerner at Aston Villa, Kroenke at Arsenal and John W Henry at Liverpool. Other Americans, notably Robert Kraft, have actively explored options in English football.

Tony Fernandes of Malaysia and Vijay Mallya of India exemplify the emergence of Asian sports tycoons in recent years, or be more accurate, tycoons who have diversified into sport.

The royal family of Qatar, who in effect control that nation and its vast oil wealth, have been conspicuously diversifying their own interests too, laying the groundwork for a post-oil economy. Most famously they bankrolled the successful bid to stage the 2022 World Cup. Different branches of the family / business have now also got involved in European football, buying PSG in France and Malaga in Spain, and sponsoring the shirts of the world’s most glamourous team, Barcelona.

Sportingintelligence has also been told that Qatar money is behind an ongoing assessment of several clubs in England (Newcastle and Fulham) and in Italy’s Serie A, with a view that the royal family will buy a club in England and Italy if possible in the near future.

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The world’s major multi-sport tycoons

 

Stan KROENKE USA

Net worth: $3.2 billion.

Source of income: real estate.

.

Major teams (5, two of them football): St. Louis Rams (NFL), Denver Nuggets (NBA), Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Colorado Rapids (MLS) & Arsenal (EPL).

Other sports teams (1) and sports interests: Colorado Mammoth (NLL). Owns Pepsi Centre, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Altitude Sports and Entertainment network.


 

2 Phil ANSCHUTZ USA

Net worth: $7 billion.

Source of income: oil, real estate.

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Major teams (4, two of them football): LA Kings (NHL), LA Galaxy (MLS), Houston Dynamo (MLS) & a share of LA Lakers (NBA).

Other sports teams (7) and sports interests: Ontario Reign (ECHL), Reading Royals (ECHL), Manchester Monarchs (AHL), Eisbaren Berlin (Germany hockey league), Hamburg Freezers (German hockey league), Hammarby (Swedish soccer), LA Sparks (WNBA). Owns Staples Centre, Home Depot Centre and operates the O2 Arena (London).

 

 

3 Dietrich MATESCHITZ Austria

Net worth: $5 billion.

Source of income: energy drink.

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Major teams (3, one of them football): Red Bull Racing (F1), Scuderia Toro Rosso (F1) & New York Red Bulls (MLS).

Other sports teams (4): FC Red Bull Salzburg (Austrian Bundesliga), EC Red Bull Salzburg (Erste Bank Hockey League, Austria), Red Bull Brasil (Sao Paulo state championship), Red Bull Leipzig (German Regionalliga Nord).

 

 

4 Ted LERNER USA

Net worth: $3.3 billion.

Source of income: real estate.

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Major teams (3): Washington Nationals (MLB), Washington Wizards (NBA) & Washington Capitals (NHL).

Other sports teams (1) and sports interests: Washington Mystics (WNBA). Co-owns Verizon Centre via holding in Monumental Sports and Entertainment.

 

 

5 Larry TANENBAUM Canada

Net worth: $1 billion.

Source of income: construction.

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Major teams (3, one of them football): Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto FC (MLS).

Other sports teams (1) and sports interests: Toronto Marlies (AHL). Co-owns Air Canada Centre via Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, and holdings in Leafs TV, NBA TV Canada and GolTV Canada.

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6 John HENRY USA

Net worth: $840 million.

Source of income: commodities trading.

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Major teams (3, one of them football): Boston Red Sox (MLB), Liverpool (EPL) & Roush Racing (NASCAR).

Other sports teams (1) and sports interests: Salem Red Sox (Carolina League). Owns Fenway Park, Anfield, New England Sports Network.

 

 

7 Paul ALLEN USA

Net worth: $13.2 billion.

Source of income: Microsoft.

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Major teams (3, one of them football): Seattle Seahawks (NFL), Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) & Seattle Sounders (MLS).

 

 

8 The HUNT Family USA

Net worth: $965 million.

Source of income: oil.

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 Major teams (3, two of them football): Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), FC Dallas (MLS) & Columbus Crew (MLS).

 

 

9 The DOLAN family USA

Net worth: $2.6 billion.

Source of income: cable TV.

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Major teams (2): New York Knicks (NBA) & New York Rangers (NHL).

Other sports teams (2) and sports interests: New York Liberty (WNBA), Connecticut Whale (AHL). Owns Madison Square Garden and regional cable networks MSG Network and MSG Plus.

 

 

10 Vijay MALLYA India

Net worth: $1.4 billion.

Source of income: brewing.

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Major teams (2): Force India (F1), Bangalore Royal Challengers (IPL).

Other sports teams (1) and sports interests: East Bengal FC (Indian I-League soccer) and has been linked to bids for EPL clubs.

 

 

11 Ted LEONSIS USA

Net worth: $1 billion.

Source of income:  AOL.

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Major teams (2): Washington Wizards (NBA) & Washington Capitals (NHL).

Other sports teams (1) and sports interests: Washington Mystics (WNBA). Co-owns Verizon Centre via holding in Monumental Sports and Entertainment.

 

 

12 Jeff VINIK USA

Net worth: $515 billion.

Source of income: finance, hedge funds.

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Major teams (2): Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) & a minority share in Boston Red Sox (MLB).

Other sports teams (1) and sports interests: Tampa Bay Storm (AFL). He also serves on the board at Liverpool (EPL).

 

 

13 The AL THANI family Qatar

Net worth: $85 billion.

Source of income: oil, natural gas.

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Major teams (2, both of them football): Paris St Germain (Ligue 1), Malaga (La Liga).

Other sports interests: The Al Thani royal family fund the Aspire Sports Academy, and bankrolled the successful bid to stage soccer’s 2022 World Cup. They have been linked to bids for several EPL teams, and were in negotiation to buy the Silverstone F1 race circuit in England.

 

 

14 Malcolm GLAZER USA

Net worth: $2.4 billion.

Source of income: food processing, real estate.

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Major teams (2, one of them football): Tampa Bay Bucs (NFL) & Manchester United (EPL).

 

 

15 Mike ILITCH USA

Net worth: $2 billion.

Source of income: pizza.

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Major teams (2): Detroit Tigers (MLB) & Detroit Red Wings (NHL).

 

 

16 Robert KRAFT USA

Net worth: $1.7 billion.

Source of income: paper, packaging.

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Major teams (2, one of them football): New England Patriots (NFL) & New England Revolution (MLS).

 

 

17 John FISHER (with partner Lewis WOLFF) USA

Net worth: $1.5 billion.

Source of income: Gap.

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Major teams (2, one of them football): Oakland A’s (MLB) & San Jose Earthquakes (MLS).

 

 

18= Randy LERNER USA

Net worth: $1 billion.

Source of income: banking, credit cards..

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Major teams (2, one of them football): Cleveland Browns (NFL) & Aston Villa (EPL).

 

18= Jerry REINSDORF USA

Net worth: $1 billion.

Source of income: real estate.

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Major teams (2): Chicago White Sox (MLB), Chicago Bulls (NBA).

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20 Tony FERNANDES Malaysia

Net worth: $470 million.

Source of income: aviation.

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Major teams (2, one of them football): Queens Park Rangers (EPL), CaterhamF1 (F1).

 

 

21 Jeff MOORAD USA

Net worth: c.$400 million.

Source of income: sports agency.

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Major teams (2): San Diego Padres (MLB), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB).

 

 

22 Dave CHECKETTS USA

Net worth: c.$100 million.

Source of income: sports administration.

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Major teams (2, one of them football): St Louis Blues (NHL, although has just completed sale to another group as of 10 May 2012) & Real Salt Lake (MLS).

 

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