6 Mega-Athletes Who Became Owners

by Rob Joyce

Derek Jeter and the Florida/Miami Marlins don’t have much of a history. Of course, Jeter’s Yankees lost to the Marlins in the 2003 World Series, but other than that the soon-to-be Hall of Famer only played 17 games against the franchise. However he’s going to become awfully familiar with the team now that he’s going to be a part owner of the team.

As part of a group that also includes former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Jeter and company won the bidding war to purchase the up-for-sale organization for a reported $1.3 billion. The deal can’t be finalized until May, but assuming it goes through Jeter joins this group of superstar athletes who also own a stake of sports teams around North America:

LeBron James:

lebron james 6 Mega Athletes Who Became Owners

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The only still-current athlete on our list, James’ off-the-court ventures have branched out considerably over the course of his career. In 2011, he signed with Fenway Sports Group as they became the rights holders for his global marketing. As part of the deal he was given a minority stake in his favorite soccer club, Liverpool, who is owned by FSG.

Magic Johnson:

magic johnson 6 Mega Athletes Who Became Owners

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Few athletes have been as successful after retirement than Magic. In 2012 he was part of the Guggenheim Baseball Management group that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers from the McCourts. Since then he’s been part of ownership purchases for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks as well as the future expansion MLS club in LA. All of this runs concurrent with his new job as the head of basketball operations with the Lakers.

Michael Jordan:

michael jordan 6 Mega Athletes Who Became Owners

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

His Airness became the part-owner of the then-Charlotte Bobcats in 2006, in the process becoming the head of basketball operations. Fast forward to 2010 and Jordan bought a bigger stake in the team, becoming the first former player to be the majority owner of a franchise, a title he still holds as the organization is once again the Charlotte Hornets.

Serena & Venus Williams:

serena venus williams 6 Mega Athletes Who Became Owners

(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The tennis stars, originally natives of Florida, invested in their hometown team in 2009, becoming minority owners in the Miami Dolphins. The first female African-Americans to own any stake in an NFL team, the Williams sisters are just a few names among the star-studded ownership group. Jimmy Buffett, Gloria Estefan and Marc Anthony are all part-owners as well, with Wayne Huizenga being the majority owner.

Shaquille O’Neal:

shaquille oneal 6 Mega Athletes Who Became Owners

(Photo credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

It would have seemed unthinkable 15 years ago, but the Hall of Famer’s many business ventures includes a minority stake in the Sacramento Kings, a team he tormented so many times during his Laker days. Like LeBron and the Williams sisters it’s a small stake in the team (anywhere from two to five percent, depending on what source you use).

Wayne Gretzky:

wayne gretzky 6 Mega Athletes Who Became Owners

(Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

The Great One has dabbled in ownership around the NHL. In 2000 he bought a share of the Phoenix Coyotes, but sold his stake following the team’s bankruptcy in 2009. As of last year he ventured back to his days in Edmonton, where he is now a partner and vice chairman in Oilers Entertainment Group, which owns the team.

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