17 Richest Sports Owners You Probably Didn't Know
Wealthy celebrities love spending their money on luxury houses, cars, jets, and yachts. However, those aren't the only ways they spend their fortune. For the rich stars who are also die-hard sports fans, it is pretty easy to take a stake in their favorite sports team. Take a look at these 17 celebrities who own athletics teams. Some of them may surprise you!
1. Serena Williams - Miami Dolphins (NFL)
Net Worth: $180 million
Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams are known for their achievements on the tennis court. However, they're also big fans of football, especially the Miami Dolphins. They even called themselves "Miami girls," so, in 2009, the sisters purchased a stake in the team and became part-owners.
2. Jennifer Lopez - Miami Dolphins (NFL)
Net Worth: $400 million
Just like the Williams sisters, singers Jennifer Lopez and her partner Marc Anthony took a minority stake in the Miami Dolphins. To announce their new roles, the Dolphins gave Anthony a number 16 Dolphins jersey (he was born on September 16), and gave Lopez a number 24 one (she was born on July 24). Currently, Anthony still serves as a partner on the team.
3. Bill Murray - St. Paul Saints (AAIPB)
Net worth: $140 million
Born in Illinois, comedian Bill Murray rose to fame for his roles in the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. There, he won his first Emmy. Afterwards, he moved to the big screen, and took on more serious roles, ones which earned him a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. He even scored an Oscar nomination. However, he is not only one of our favorite actors, but also a sports fan, who is a part owner of the St. Paul Saints baseball team.
4. Jon Bon Jovi - Philadelphia Soul (Arena Football League, AFL)
Net Worth: $410 million
Most celebrities prefer to become owners of a well-known sports teams, but that's not the case with the legendary singer Jon Bon Jovi. He and Craig Spencer started this sports club called the Philadelphia Soul in the Arena Football League in 2004. However, it seems like it might be difficult to balance sports team ownership and the lifestyle of a rockstar. In 2010, Bon Jovi dropped his stake in Philadelphia Soul.
5. Bill Maher - New York Mets (MLB)
Net worth: $100 million
Since 1979, Bill Maher has been in showbiz. He is a comedian, commentator, and author. Born in New York City where he resides to this day, Bill Maher attended Cornell University. He is famous for his acerbic and sarcastic wit. What most don’t know though is that Maher owns part of the New York Mets. He called this investment his best decision ever.
6. Justin Timberlake - Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
Net Worth: $230 Million
Raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Justin Timberlake went on to become a pop icon. Apparently, he never forgets his roots, because in 2012 he purchased a minority stake in the Memphis Grizzlies, an NBA basketball team. It’s common knowledge, but Timberlake is a big sports fan, and him taking a stake brought real star power to the team.
7. Usher - Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
Net Worth: $180 Million
Back in 2016, when the Cleveland Cavaliers were celebrating their first major sports championship since 1964, fans were confused about R&B superstar Usher's appearance in the team's celebration. Actually, early in 2005, he had purchased a small stake in the Cavaliers. He then said to Forbes, "I know I have the talent to entertain, but now I just want to be a great businessman."
8. Will Smith - Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)
Net Worth: $300 million
Will Smith purchased a minority stake in the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011, along with his wife, Jada Pinkett. He is a native of West Philadelphia, so if he planned to own an NBA team, the 76ers were the perfect option. Some players were excited about having Will Smith as one of the owners. Evan Turner even mentioned Will's daughter, Willow Smith, in his Tweets, "Maybe Willow can perform at halftime."
9. Yao Ming - The Shanghai Sharks (CBA)
Net Worth: $120 million
Before joining the NBA aboard the Houston Rockets in 2002, Yao Ming began his basketball career in China for the Shanghai Sharks. Just seven years later, he bought his former team in its entirety. Most of the sports teams in America and Europe have the tradition of promoting their advertisers through team jerseys and stadium naming rights. However, sports teams in Asia often name the team after their sponsors. So, Yao Ming renamed his team the "Shanghai Maxxis" after their sponsor Maxxis, a US-based tire company.
10. Jay-Z - Brooklyn Nets (NBA)
Net Worth: $1 billion
Like hip-hop legends, Tupac, Biggie and Nas, Jay-Z is considered one of the genre's true legends. We know that many rappers are sports fans and have a real knack for business. In 2004, Jay-Z invested $1 million in the New Jersey Nets. When he sold the franchise in 2013, he earned $2.35 million, which was a fine piece of business.
11. Elton John - Watford F.C. (Premier League)
Net Worth: $400 million
Since Elton John was a child, he adored Watford F.C. When you’re a lifelong fan, there’s nothing sweeter than having the opportunity to own the sports team you love. In 1976, Sir Elton John became the chairman of the Club, but eleven years later, he sold it off. He must have missed the Club so much he re-bought it from 1997 until 2002. Though he doesn't own the Club anymore, he never left the team. He can be seen everywhere.
12. David Beckham - Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (MLS)
Net Worth: $450 Million
Though David Beckham has retired from his beloved soccer career, he couldn't really stay away. He started a new professional soccer team in Miami with some famous celebrities, such as Simon Fuller. In 2018, Beckham announced the official establishment of the team, it’s not slated to play in the major leagues until 2020. It's said that Beckham is thinking of persuading superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to join the team.
13. Michelle Williams - Chicago Sky (WNBA)
Net Worth: $10 million
In 2006, Michelle Williams of the well-known R&B and pop girl group Destiny's Child bought a minority stake in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team, Chicago Sky. Therefore, she isn't only a girl who can sing Bootylicious, but also a girl who has a passion for basketball. Her stake in Chicago Sky helps take this passion a little further.
14. Tim McGraw - Nashville Kats (AFL)
Net Worth: $85 Million
Tim McGraw's father, Tug McGraw, was an MLB pitcher for over two decades, so it isn't surprising that Tim McGraw was a baseball fan from a young age. He even pursued baseball into his college years. However, he had a serious knee injury in college, which forced him to quit. In 2005, he started taking an interest in other sporting endeavors, especially the Arena Football League team the Nashville Kats. He bought a small stake in the team, but unfortunately, in 2007, Nashville Kats disbanded.
15. Michael Jordan - Charlotte Hornets (NBA)
Net Worth: $1.9 billion
The great basketball player, Michael Jordan, was famous for his ferocious slam dunk. After Jordan's retirement, he bought a minority stake in the Charlotte Hornets. In 2010, he purchased a majority stake in the team, making him the first former NBA player to own a majority stake in a team. Today, Jordan is the principal owner and chairman of the team.
16. Magic Johnson - Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
Net Worth: $600 million
Magic Johnson gained fame for his role as a basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, he has been part-owner of the team for years, and he is also interested in baseball. So, in 2012, he purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers. To cap it off, In 2014, Johnson also purchased the Los Angeles Sparks basketball team.
17. Fergie - Miami Dolphins (NFL)
Net Worth: $45 million
The former member of Black Eyed Peas, Fergie Duhamel, is also a sports fan, like many other pop stars. Born and raised in California, we may think the famous singer would have opted to buy a West Coast team, but she purchased a small stake in the Miami Dolphins in 2009. No one can blame her for following the trend.
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