The World’s Most Valuable Sports Empires 2023

Sports moguls have deployed a variety of methods to bring in more money, boosting the value of their sprawling holdings and creating diversified international juggernauts that promise to pay off into the future.


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both owners have hit the jackpot by leveraging and scaling their brands and intellectual property. And they’ve done it in so many different ways: by buying into more teams, commanding higher prices for media rights, expanding content distribution with streaming, cross-selling sponsorships through various sports assets, developing mixed-use real estate and investing in sports -related technology, analytics, sports betting and niche sports, like indoor lacrosse.

The upshot: the world’s 25 most valuable sports empires are worth a total of $174 billion, 23% more than a year ago. This year, we added a new 10% premium to the aggregate value of a sports empire to account for the scalability that comes with owning multiple sports properties. Even without the premium, the top 25 sports empires still did much better than last year. They would’ve been up 11.9%, to $158 billion.

Liberty Media’s sports empire, worth $21 billion, sits on top. Headed by billionaire John Malone, Liberty’s primary sports assets are the Formula One auto-racing circuit (enterprise value: $17.1 billion) and Atlanta Braves MLB team ($2.1 billion). Formula One had a banner 2022, averaging 1.21 million viewers across the ESPN family of networks, the highest on record for the series, and signed a new television deal in June reportedly worth at least $75 million a year, 15 times its previous deal. No wonder Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund considered acquiring Formula One for $20 billion last year, according to Bloomberg.

As for the 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves, it appears Malone, who paid $400 million for the team in 2007, might be preparing to cash in by selling them. Thanks in part to the Braves’ new ballpark and The Battery Atlanta, a mixed-use real estate project, revenue for the first nine months of 2022 was $535 million compared with $466 million for the same period in 2021. There are worse things than betting on Malone. During the past year, the price of Formula One’s and the Atlanta Braves’ tracking stocks have increased 5% and 35%, respectively, while the S&P 500 has fallen 13%.

Malone is the exception and not the rule among sports empire owners. Rather than use stock to underpin their strategy, many of them build off their most valuable teams, some believing in dominating a local market and others thinking globally.

Billionaire Ted Leonsis, who owns Monumental Sports and Entertainment, is a prime example of local-market domination. MSE owns Washington’s NBA Wizards and NHL Capitals as well the the building both teams play in, Capital One Arena. MSE recently purchased the 66% of NBC Sports Washington it didn’t already own, giving Leonsis control of the distribution of his content. We value MSE at $4.51 billion, 20th on our list. Leonsis appears to be looking to add to his local sports empire by buying MLB’s Washington Nationals.

An example of a more global thinker is Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, an empire run by billionaire Stan Kroenke that ranges from England (soccer team Arsenal), to the western US (the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the Denver Nuggets of the NBA and the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams). KSE’s enterprise value totals $12.75 billion, good enough for second place on this year’s list. Kroenke loves the real estate play, having poured over $5 billion of his own money into his football team’s new SoFi Stadium and nearby Hollywood Parkwhich will include everything from food and fitness to art and entertainment.

Big on the tech and venture capital opportunities in sports is Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment. Sure, its lynchpin is its ownership of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils of the NHL. But by our count, HBSE, ranked No. 18 on our list with a valuation of $4.65 billion, gets over $100 million of its value from its stakes in technology, esports and lifestyle investments via properties like Elevate Sports Ventures, New Meta Entertainment and HBSE Ventures.

Investment firms, relatively new entrants in team ownership, may no longer be satisfied with owning small pieces of teams. Sure, North American leagues like the NBA, MLB and the NHL have limits on how much institutional investors can own, and the NFL prohibits them altogether. But it’s possible to use a big European brand to back into owning a big-time template. Prime example: RedBird Capital, a new entrant to the top 25 by dint of buying a controlling stake in Italian Soccer team AC Milan in June for $1.28 billion. The prior year, RedBird purchased an 11% stake in Fenway Sports Group, whose holdings include MLB’s Boston Red Sox, English soccer team Liverpool and the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. RedBird weighs in at 25th on our list, worth $3.6 billion. Fenway’s value is $10.4 billion, good enough for fourth.


THE WORLD’S MOST VALUABLE SPORTS EMPIRES 2023

* Indicates ownership of 50% or less


1. Liberty Media

Value: $20.80 billion

Properties: Atlanta Braves, Formula 1, Drone Racing League*, Kroenke Arena Co.*, Meyer Shank Racing*, Overtime Sports*

Key People: Gregory Maffei (president and CEO), Albert Rosenthaler (CCDO)


2.Kroenke Sports & Entertainment

Value: $12.75 billion

Properties: Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Arsenal FC, The Guard, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Mammoth, Altitude Sports and Entertainment

Key Persons: E. Stanley Kroenke (owner and chairman)


3. Jerry Jones

Value: $11.32 billion

Properties: Dallas Cowboys, Legends Hospitality*, The Star, GameSquare Esports*

Key Persons: Jerry Jones (owner, president and general manager of the Cowboys)


4. Fenway Sports Group

Value: $10.40 billion

Properties: Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing*, NESN, Fenway Sports Management, Pittsburgh Penguins

Key People: John Henry (co-founder and principal owner), Thomas Werner (co-founder and chairman)


5.Madison Square Garden Sports

Value: $9.17 billion

Properties: New York Knicks, New York Rangers, Counter Logic Gaming, Hartford Wolf Pack

Key People: James Dolan (executive chairman), David Hopkinson (president and COO)


6. The Kraft Group

Value: $8.40 billion

Properties: New England Patriots, New England Revolution, UFC*, Kraft Analytics Group, DraftKings*, Oxygen Esports*, Roblox*

Key Persons: Robert Kraft (founder, chairman and CEO)


7. Yankees Global Enterprises

Value: $7.64 billion

Properties: New York Yankees, Legends Hospitality*, YES Network*, New York City FC*, Yankee Stadium Events, AC Milan*

Key Persons: Hal Steinbrenner (managing general partner and chairman)


8. Glazer Family

Value: $7.53 billion

Properties: Manchester United, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key People: Bryan Glazer (owner and co-chairman of the Buccaneers), Edward Glazer (owner and co-chairman of the Buccaneers), Joel Glazer (owner and co-chairman of the Buccaneers)


9. Paul G. Allen Trust

Value: $7.41 billion

Properties: Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Sounders*

Key Persons: Jody Allen (Chairwoman)


10. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

Value: $6.42 billion

Properties: Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto FC, Toronto Argonauts, Toronto Marlies

Key People: Cynthia Devine (president and CEO), Sabina Rizvi (CFO)


11. 49ers Enterprise

Value: $5.97 billion

Properties: San Francisco 49ers, Leeds United* FC, Elevate Sports Ventures*

Key People: Denise DeBartolo York (owner and co-chairman of the 49ers), John York (owner and co-chairman of the 49ers)


12. City Football Group

Value: $5.96 billion

Properties: Manchester City, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC

Key People: Ferran Soriano (CEO), Roel De Vries (Group COO)


13. Shad Khan

Value: $5.95 billion

Properties: Jacksonville Jaguars, Fulham FC, All Elite Wrestling

Key People: Shad Khan (owner of the Jaguars), Tony Khan (chief football strategy officer; CEO and general manager of AEW)


14. Benson Family

Value: $5.69 billion

Properties: New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans

Key Persons: Gayle Benson (owner of the Saints and Pelicans)


15. Guggenheim Baseball Management

Value: $4.92 billion

Properties: Los Angeles Dodgers, Spectrum SportsNet LA

Key Persons: Mark Walter (CEO)


16. Haslam Sports Group

Value: $4.83 billion

Properties: Cleveland Browns, Columbus Crew

Key People: Dee and Jimmy Haslam (managing and principal partners)


17. AMB Group

Value: $4.77 billion

Properties: Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, PGA Tour Superstore, AMBSE Ventures*

Key People: Arthur Blank (owner)


18. Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment

Value: $4.65 billion

Properties: Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils, New Meta Entertainment*, Elevate Sports Ventures*, HBSE Ventures, Utica Comets

Key People: Josh Harris (co-founder and managing general partner), David Blitzer (co-founder and co-managing partner)


19. Tepper Sports & Entertainment

Value: $4.55 billion

Properties: Carolina Panthers, Charlotte F.C

Key Persons: David Tepper (owner)


20. Monumental Sports & Entertainment

Value: $4.51 billion

Properties: Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, aXiomatic*, NBC Sports Washington, Monumental Sports Network

Key Persons: Ted Leonsis (principal partner and CEO)


21. Pegula Sports & Entertainment

Value: $4.46 billion

Properties: Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabers, Adpro Sports, Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Americans, Rochester Knighthawks

Key People: Terry and Kim Pegula (owners)


22. Wilf Family

Value: $4.36 billion

Properties: Minnesota Vikings, Orlando City SC, Orlando Price, Wise Ventures

Key Persons: Zygmunt Wilf (owner and chairman of the Vikings)


23. Joe Tsai

Value: $3.99 billion

Properties: Brooklyn Nets, San Diego Seals, Las Vegas Desert Dogs, New York Liberty, G2 Esports*, LAFC*

Key Persons: Joe Tsai (owner of the Nets)


24. Ricketts Family

Value: $3.73 billion

Properties: Chicago Cubs, Marquee Sports Network*

Key Persons: Tom Ricketts (owner and chairman of the Cubs)


25. RedBird Capital Partners

Value: $3.60 billion

Properties: AC Milan, Fenway Sports Group*, Yes Network*, Rajasthan Royals*, Toulouse FC, XFL*, Dream Sports*

Key Persons: Gerry Cardinale (founder and managing partner)


METHODOLOGY

To qualify as a sports empire a person or company must own a majority stake in at least one sports team and its aggregate investments in other sports-related properties must total at least $100 million. Our empire values ​​are the aggregate enterprise values ​​of its holdings multiplied by 1.1. We think a 10% premium to the sum of the parts is conservative given the scale and breadth of these assets. Our valuation sources were our most recent NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, European soccer enterprise values, and soon-to-be-published MLS valuations. For sports-related assets not included in our database, we relied on owners and investors in these businesses, sports bankers, attorneys and media analysts.

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