Celebrity Sports Club Owners
Owning a sports team appears to have become a popular pursuit for A-list celebrities these days, as some of the planet’s most famous stars rush to purchase their favourite local teams or purchase minority stakes in larger franchises. Whether they’re motivated by commercial opportunities, the chance to boost their profile or just a love of the sport and club, there are a surprising number of high-profile figures getting in on the action .One such example is the rapper-turned-businessman Jay-Z, whose many ventures include a clothing brand, online music company and co-ownership of the 40/40 club in London with footballer Ashley Cole, in a deal brokered by NVA Agency’s Chris Nathaniel. Jay-Z briefly owned a percentage of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, helping them relocate to his hometown of Brooklyn where he could regularly be seen watching their games.
Back in 2009, the Miami Dolphins NFL franchise encouraged several Miami-based celebrities to invest in the club in an attempt to raise their profile, with several notable stars excepting the offer. Jennifer Lopez and her husband of the time Marc Anthony, both purchased a small percentage of the club, and were followed by Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Serena and Venus Williams and Fergie of Black Eyed Peas fame.
In the UK, musical legend Elton John became owner of Watford Football Club way back in 1976. John is a lifelong fan of the hornets and after becoming club chairman declared an ambition to take the club back to the First Division. He achieved this in the 1981-82 season and will no doubt be enjoying their current form in the top half of the Premier League. The cook and television presenter Delia Smith is another high-profile name to have owned a club in the English Football League, purchasing the majority stake in her beloved Norwich City in the early 2000s. Smith is unfortunately most remembered by football fans for her attempt to raise the crowd at half time during a match in the 2005/06 season when they were threatened with relegation, when she pleaded “Where are you? Let’s be ‘avin you!”
David Beckham’s fame and fortune has been well documented, and as one of the most famous names on this list it is not surprising that his recent purchase of an MLS soccer team in Miami has been well publicised. Beckham’s contract at LA Galaxy included an option for him to expand the MLS franchise in a market of his choosing at the bargain price of just $25 million. The team are due to begin playing in their new stadium in 2020.