LeBron James has made a pretty decent living for himself not only on his basketball success but also on his off-field dealings with partnerships, endorsements, and investments.
He is a part owner of Blaze Pizza. He owns a lot of real estate. And now he owns an NHL team?
Penguins announced on monday that Fenway Sports Group, a major Boston-based sports limited liability company, has agreed to buy control of the Pittsburgh-based NHL team, requiring only approval from the NHL Board of Governors to determine get the move. That means James, being a partner of FSG, is also now a part owner of Penguins.
According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, the deal is expected to close for around $900 million.
The Penguins were previously sold to former player Mario Lemieux in 1999, two years after he retired from the NHL, and businessman Ron Burkle after the team filed for bankruptcy under its previous owners. Now, another athlete is in the possession mix.
The Penguins statement announcing the purchase said Lemieux and Burkle would remain part of the ownership group.
Who now owns the penguins?
The purchase is not expected to be completed until the end of the year, so over time Lemieux and Burkle remain team owners.
However, following approval from the NHL Board of Directors, the deal is expected to close by year-end, the team announced.
“Pittsburgh Penguins is a premier national hockey league franchise with a strong organization, a great history, and a vibrant, passionate fan base. We’ll work diligently to keep it going. continues to build on the Penguins’ remarkable championship tradition and exciting play,” Fenway Sports Group President Tom Werner said in a statement.
In addition to Werner, another big name in FSG is the main owner and founder John Henry. Henry is best known as the principal owner of the Red Sox, Liverpool FC, The Boston Globe and Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, all of which are under the umbrella of FSG. According to Forbes Henry has a net worth of $3.6 billion.
There are a lot of partners involved in the pool, including James, so his total stake is definitely a bit limited.
How did James get involved with FSG?
James first became involved with FSG when his marketing agency, LRMR Branding & Marketing, began a partnership with FSG in April 2011. That agreement is set to govern Fenway Sports Management in partnership with LRMR on more global marketing, instead of just US-based.
But 10 years later, James is even more deeply involved in the group. When RedBird Capital Partners placed a substantial investment with FSG, James and LRMR CEO Maverick Carter exchanged their former ownership in Liverpool for joint ownership with RedBird, the company announced in March .
Boston Globe report that RedBird Capital Partners invested $750 million in FSG as part of the deal.
What other teams are owned by Fenway Sports Group?
Fenway Sports Group has been in the sports ownership business for a long time. It bought the Red Sox in 2002 from the Yawkey Trust and immediately took the team to a World Series championship in 2004.
In 2007, FSG acquired a 50% stake in the NASCAR team, Roush Racing, and the team name became Roush Fenway Racing. Last year, Brad Keselowski joined the organization as co-owner and once again renamed Roush Feneway Keselowski Racing.
The group made another major investment in 2010 when it acquired Liverpool.
Along with those teams, FSG also owns minor league baseball, the Salem Red Sox, as well as Anfield Stadium, home of Liverpool, and Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. It also owns the New England Sports Network and The Boston Globe.
James became a part owner of Liverpool in 2011 as part of a deal between LRMR and FSM. When he becomes a partner in early 2021, he also participates in the ownership of the Red Sox, Roush Fenway Racing and other organisations.