by Contributing Author
The Jewish community not only loves sports, but they also own some of the biggest sports clubs in the world. Out of the 147 teams in the North American pro sports leagues, about 46 are owned by Jews.
We’re talking about the Major Leagues: NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS and NHL. Interestingly, Jews have been buying sports clubs for decades. Take Leo Lyons as an example. He was among the NFL founders in 1920. Over the years, dozens of Jewish investors have owned successful sports clubs.
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Some Jewish entrepreneurs also own investments related to sports but not necessarily sports clubs. Think of the best betting sites in the USA, most of which offer great incentives to sports bettors. That being said, this focuses on Jewish people who own major sports franchises.
Arthur Blank purchased the Atlanta Falcons in 2002 for $545 million. Today the club is valued at about $4 billion. Blanks also purchased Atlanta United FC, a major league soccer team. The team has participated twice in the Super Bowl but has yet to win a game.
The closest that Atlanta Falcons came close to winning the Super Bowl games were in 1998 and 2016. His other club, Atlanta United, won the MLS in 2017. He attributes his success to sharing how money with his partners. They share the revenues with the owners and strongly believe in teamwork. His club Atlanta United has a winning percentage of 0.628.
Edward, Joel, and Bryan Glazer
Malcolm Glazer, the previous owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was an American Jewish man. His parents were Lithuanian Jews, and they emigrated to the United States.
Glazer worked as a salesperson before becoming a real estate tycoon. He bought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise in 1995 at $192 million and turned around its fortunes. Currently, the club is valued at $2.28 billion. The franchise won the Super Bowl in 2003.
In 2006, Glazer suffered from a stroke and handed over the team to his children, Bryan, Joel, and Edward. The club has had a 0.338 winning percentage for the past few seasons.
The club owners donate much to charity and try to sustain a good image of the club. The family also owns the Manchester United football club, and they have a net worth of $4.7 billion.
Steve Ballmer, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is a former Microsoft CEO. After his retirement in 2013, he bought Clippers for approximately $2 billion in 2014. His management style has given Clippers a 0.594 winning percentage.
Mark Cuban, the “Shark Tank” participant, is also the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Cuban bought the team in 1999 at $285 million since he needed to do a better job.
He grew the club by marketing and expanding its fan base. He also recruited the best players and got the courtside team cheerleaders. He compensates his players well, contributing to the team’s success. The Mavericks have a current value of $2.7 billion. According to Forbes, the club is among the top ten in terms of value.
The club is among the top NBA franchises and has missed only five playoffs for the 23 seasons they have played since he took over. One of the best moments was in 2011 when they won the NBA championships. The Mavericks have a winning percentage of 0.583.
He is the owner of the Golden State Warriors. Lacob purchased the team alongside Peter Guber at $450 million in 2010. Before buying the team, Lacob was among the greatest fans. He has invested financially in the team. Before he purchased the team, he had already noted that they needed good organization to win championships.
The Warriors have won three titles during the past ten years. They have more than 73 wins in the 2015-2016 season, making them a great team. Lacob is in charge of the teams’ daily operations, making them successful.In 2014, Lacob fired Marc Jackson as the main coach and hired Steve Kerr. His team’s winning percentage of 0.648 is attributed to his hands-on management policy. Today, The Warriors is valued at about $4.5 billion.
In 2018, David Tepper purchased the Carolina Panthers at $2.3 billion. Today the club is valued at $3.6 billion. The club makes about $501 million annually. The Carolina Panthers started the season at 6-2 and ended it at 7-9. In 2020, the team lost several games. In 2023, they hired Frank Reich o help turn the club’s performance around. The team has its cheerleading team and the famous mascot, Sir Purr.
Robert Kraft started attending the New England Patriots games in 1971, and he finally bought the team in 1994 at $172 million. He has managed the team; this year, the club is valued at about $6.4 billion. The club is second in the NFL league. The club has enjoyed a high level of success in the past years.
In February last year, they won the Lombardi Trophy for the sixth time. His club has six Super Bowl wins. They have made 11 appearances, won six, and lost 5. Their head coach, Bill Belichick, is credited with helping the team win most of the Super Bowl games. The club has a winning percentage of 0.690, the highest among Jewish-owned clubs. Kraft ensures that his team prepares well by engaging in hard work.
Zygmunt Wilf, the owner of Minnesota Vikings, is a child of Holocaust survivors. The Wilf family bought the club in 2005, and he has been the primary manager. Wilf, alongside his brother Mark, has put much effort into ensuring that the club offers the best NFL experience to its fans.
They constructed the U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016, where the Super Bowl was held in 2018. Wilf ensures that the club has a world-class organization and participates in championships.
Mark and Wilf have also constructed the Vikings headquarters, which includes a hospital and training camp for the members. Vikings have a value of $3.35 billion, much of which has grown in the past three years.
People of Jewish heritage own almost a third of the Major League Pro sports clubs. They have managed the clubs, and the club’s net worth has grown immensely over the past decade. Some best-managed clubs include Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Vikings, and New England Patriots.