If you think about pro athletes, you immediately assume that these are physical specimens that thrive the most when playing their respective sports. They became famous as sportspeople due to the outstanding skills they showcased regularly.
However, these pros will also be the first to tell you that playing careers won’t last forever. Time is the greatest opponent of many pro athletes, and it will take away the qualities that make these stars great.
Once these pros call it a career, an entirely new world opens up to them. Some former stars stay involved in the game as coaches or front-office members. Others take an interest in sports media and become analysts for various shows.
The newest trend among current and former pro athletes is acquiring ownership stakes in other professional sports teams. As star athletes now earn more money than before, the possibility of owning stakes in organizations has become a possibility.
This OKBET Sports piece will celebrate some of the biggest athletes who placed their hard-earned money into sports. We’ll discuss their professional achievements and the current status of the clubs they have a stake.
Lewis Hamilton, Part Owner of the Denver Broncos
Lewis Hamilton is one of the first pro athletes you immediately associate with Formula 1. While the sport boasts a rich history of superstar drivers, only some have the skills and trophy cabinet to match the Mercedes driver.
He’s won the most races among the sport’s most popular stars and has seven Drivers’ Championships. When he decides to hang up his racing gloves, he’ll be regarded as one of the best to ever line up on the paddock.
The time he walks away from the sport is edging closer, as he’s already 38 by the time his 18th F1 season starts. He’s already started dipping his toes into sports ownership.
Sir Lewis Hamilton is part of the consortium that took over the NFL’s Denver Broncos. He became a part owner of the team after putting a stake with the Walter-Penner Group in August, the owners who bought the team months earlier.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) August 2, 2022
Hamilton also tried his hand at owning a football club. He joined a consortium that tried to buy Chelsea last year. The Mercedes driver was also involved in talks about Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s intentions to buy Manchester United until he denied involvement in the bid.
The seven-time champion hopes that there will be more black-owned sporting organizations. He believes that an improved black presence will provide a better opportunity for equity in these physically demanding fields.
Patrick Mahomes, Part Owner of the Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC
Patrick Mahomes is still euphoric after winning his second Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs. However, He’s not only repping KC on the field; he’s also involved in the team’s professional sports scene.
He first got into sports ownership after becoming a minority stakeholder of the Kansas City Royals in 2020. It makes sense that the Royals will be his first foray into sports ownership because his father, Pat, was a major league pitcher from 1992 to 2003. Mahomes himself played the game in high school.
His next venture is a stake with the MLS team Sporting KC. His connection with the sport is also personal: his wife, Brittany, was a soccer player in college. He gained interest in the sport as he supported his girlfriend’s passion on and off the pitch.
He also noted that the way the team was run influenced his decision to invest in the team:
Patrick Mahomes is the newest member of Sporting KC’s ownership group: "Love the way they run their business and how they have invested in that team."
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
App: Bally Sports app#SportingKC | #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/gDFfxBfKwz
— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) August 1, 2021
Mahomes is the poster child of what pro athletes of the 2020s should be: talented, humble, and smart with their money.
LeBron James, Part Owner of Liverpool FC
LeBron James is considered one of the most recognizable pro athletes on the planet. The career points list shows how great he is as a basketball player. The fact that he’s still playing at the highest level at 38 showcases his incredible athleticism and durability.
His loyal fans also praise him for his business acumen. He already has a hand in various pots, from entertainment and media to food. However, one of his more meaningful investments has to be his stake in Liverpool.
The 2020 Premier League champions welcomed the future NBA Hall Of Famer in 2011. King James bought a two-percent stake in the Reds thanks to his involvement with Fenway Sports Group.
His investment into the team in 2011 was an estimated $6.5 million. However, it has since ballooned; the club has become a globally recognized brand for world-class football. He also contributes to the club’s marketability in the United States by releasing LeBron x Liverpool collaborations.
Why Are Pro Athletes Shifting to Sports Ownership?
It may seem normal for pro athletes to become interested in owning their own sports teams. They naturally love competition, so being involved with another sporting organization may seem like a natural next step.
However, there haven’t been many sports personalities who have become directly involved with the operation of another professional sports club. It’s a recent development that’s become a trend among celebrities who want to invest their money.
One of the biggest reasons why they and other celebrities have started investing in sports is the returns of a successfully run organization. While owners and investors may take years to see meaningful returns, the financial benefits could be great. You can see LeBron James’ Liverpool investment as a great example.
Another reason they may be interested in sports ownership is their genuine interest in other sports. Pro athletes play other sports to keep themselves fit, and this interest can easily translate into something different. For the most successful athletes, this may mean owning another team.
Expect More Pro Athletes to Own Sports Teams
These three sports stars are only some current and former pro athletes who have owned teams. Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, James Harden, and Naomi Osaka are other current and former pros who have stakes in sports teams.
We haven’t even dabbled into esports. It’s quickly becoming a booming scene in which other sporting icons find potential.
Do you know any other pro athletes who have a stake in a professional team? Let us know in the comments below!
Read more: Achraf Hakimi: PSG and Morocco Star Charged with Rape