The celebrities posted below are owners of sport franchises as well.
Paul Newman – Newman-Haas Racing
Paul Newman is a man of many interests, which then carries over into his professional life as an actor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist. He probably had an interest in racing cars before he became an actor, but it came out as he was working on a film in 1969 called Winning. He went through the motions because of his interest and he eventually began driving race cars.
Bill Murray – St. Paul Saints
Not only has Bill Murray had a solid career in acting, he’s found success investing in sports as well. Although Murray is a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs, having been born in Illinois, it’s the St. Paul Saints baseball team in Minnesota that he is a minority owner of. The St. Paul Saints are associated with the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
Although one of his many homes isn’t in Minnesota, Murray often travels to see the games and is very active in their operations. He has served as a first base coach and endorsed selling programs. Strangely enough, he has also served as the team psychologist.
Burt Reynolds – USFL Tampa Bay Bandits, NASCAR Winston Cup Team
Burt Reynolds was riding a wave in the late ’70s and early ’80s as his acting career became wildly successful. While Burt Reynolds was an A-lister around Hollywood, he took an interest in a minor league football team. He had a stake in the United States Football League’s Tampa Bay Bandits in 1982.
The bandit name should sound familiar as it relates to Burt Reynolds. The inspiration for the team’s name came from a movie that Burt Reynolds played in known as Smokey and the Bandit. This was a very hot movie in its time period. The USFL did not stay around long and it folded three years later. Reynolds also co-owned a NASCAR Winston Cup team.
Drew Carey – MLS Seattle Sounders
Drew Carey keeps himself busy as a multi-tasker in the entertainment industry. He is able to fall back on his first love, and he is also able to hold his own as the host of The Price is Right. Although he hails from the city of Cleveland, Carey is the minority owner of a Major League Soccer expansion team known as the Seattle Sounders.
Carey became the minority owner of the Sounders in 2007. Other owners include Adrian Hanauer, a Seattle businessman, and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Carey is also known for his talent in bowling, having appeared in several celebrity events. Owning a bowling team doesn’t sound quite as exciting, however.
Gloria Estefan – Miami Dolphins
Miami hometown native Gloria Estefan along with her husband Emilio purchased a minority stake in the Miami Dolphins back in 2009. Miami Dolphins chairman Stephen Ross would not discuss the price that Estefan and her husband paid for the stake, as he went on record as saying, “It is a private company and we will keep those things private but Emilio is a partner and Gloria is a partner.”
Gloria Estefan has said that she had been a fan of the Miami Dolphins since 1972. The Miami Dolphins were undefeated that year, and she has been a proud Dolphin fan ever since. Stephen Ross explains the importance of the purchase, “There is no community in America that has the diversity of South Florida and we want the team to be a part of South Florida, and the best way to do that is to have an ownership which reflects that diversity.”
Jay-Z Once Had a Stake in the Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn native Jay-Z, also known as Shawn Carter, is constantly in the spotlight for his musical talent and his famous family. He has a family that is bursting with talent as he is the husband of Beyonce. Jay-Z is also a successful businessman, as an owner of a clothing line, sports bar, entertainment company, sports agency and beyond.
In 2004, Jay-Z got together with a developer from Brooklyn named Bruce Ratner and their group bought the New Jersey Nets for a whopping $300 million. (Carter paid $4.5 million for his share.) However, in 2013 he had to sell off his share of the team, as it conflicted with interests representing athletes with his sports agency,
Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons – The LA Kiss
Musicians Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons may or may not rock and roll all night and party every day as of late, but they have ditched the face paint and put on their business face when it came to owning an expansion Arena Football League team called the Los Angeles KISS. Some may call it ego, but others would call it good business.
KISS set themselves apart from other rock groups in the ’70s due to their outfits, especially their famous face paint. And wisely, they have used their legendary status in the business world. The LA KISS played their first game in April 2014 and have been playing ever since.
Nelly – Charlotte Bobcats
The whole hip-hop artist turned sports franchise owner trend came about in 2004. Nelly is one of the performers who were apart of this trend. Nelly joined the Bobcats Basketball Holdings ownership group back in 2004 and purchased a stake in the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) soon after Jay-Z purchased the New Jersey Nets. Around the time Nelly purchased a stake of the Bobcats team, he was one of the biggest names in the hip-hop world. It is said that he would have wanted to have some ownership of a St. Louis NBA team but there are no teams from St. Louis. In 2010, Nelly gave up ownership when the Bobcats Basketball Holdings was purchased by NBA Legend Michael Jordan. He’s now said to be in a load of debt, owing the IRS over $2 million in back taxes.
Will and Jada-Pinkett-Smith – Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers were perhaps the most popular basketball team of the late ’70s. Julius Earvin was possibly the hottest thing since sliced bread, and he was just as popular as Lebron James is today. Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Will Smith grew up during this time period watching the 76ers play.
His love of the 76ers is what probably lead Will Smith and his wife to want to buy a stake in the team in the first place. Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith bought a minority stake in the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011.
Justin Timberlake – Memphis Grizzlies
With Justin Timberlake having been born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, he is a life-long fan of the Memphis Grizzlies. The successful artist and his actress wife Jessica Biel are routinely seen courtside at games. He has even gotten on the court and provided entertainment for the Grizzlies crowd. Timberlake danced with the Grizzlies Grannies and Grandpas at one game.
In 2012, Justin Timberlake became a proud minority owner of the Grizzlies. and has since shown his support even more. He’s even prone to shutting down haters on Twitter who call him a bandwagon fan.