Why women like Laurene Powell Jobs so rarely own sports teams
Laurene Powell Jobs is now a heavyweight in the world of professional sports.
The widow of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs has purchased a 20% stake — an investment worth an estimated $500 million — in Monumental Sports & Entertainment. It’s a conglomerate that includes the NBA Wizards, NHL Capitals, and Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., making Jobs a part owner of two major Washington sports teams. The deal is now awaiting final approval from the NBA and NHL, according to a Washington Post report.
Although $500 million may seem like a big expense, it’s a small piece of Jobs’ estimated $20 billion fortune, a number that officially makes her the fourth richest woman (and one of the top 50 wealthiest people, man or woman alike) on earth.
Jobs isn’t the only woman to enter into the sports arena in a high-profile way, but she’s on a short list of women who have become part owners of major national teams.
One of them is Jeanie Buss, the president of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and its representative on the NBA Board of Governors, who inherited ownership from her late father, real estate developer Jerry Buss. Under her stewardship, the Lakers are now worth an estimated $3 billion, making the team the second highest-evaluated in the NBA (right behind the New York Knicks).
Steve Jobs’ widow just dropped $500 million on two sports teams – plus 3 other big-time female sports owners https://t.co/A2W6xdvySw
— Moneyish (@Moneyish) October 4, 2017
Another female owner is Joan Tisch, the heir to the storied Tisch family’s fortune, who has an estimated $4.4 billion net worth, and controls half of the shares of the New York Giants. And Ann Walton Kroenke, daughter of the Walmart cofounder Bud Walton, lays claim to $5.5 billion in assets and is the owner of teams including the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets, and Colorado Rapids.
Asked why there are so few female owners or part owners of major league sports teams, Mallory Edens — daughter of Wes Edens, the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team — told Moneyish: “I think that the lack of female representation among the ranks of team ownership is a symptom of the broader professional sports environment. There are very few women in executive positions more generally — there are no female GMs in any of the major American sports leagues, there’s never been a female head coach.”
But as more female owners come onboard that could change: “Ultimately, people who own teams oversee all of the hiring decisions,” Edens added. “Any woman who buys all or part of a professional sports team in 2017 will be aware that these gender disparities exist. I would imagine that most female owners would be especially sensitive to the importance of filling more positions with women,” she concluded.
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