With the Super Bowl, the most profitable day for the National Football League, right around the corner, it’s an interesting question to ask who is the richest person in the entirety of the league. Your first guess may be Patrick Mahomes as he just signed the largest contract in sports history this last offseason. Before I continue, I want to mention that this was a steal. I said this before and I’ll say it again: the Kansas City Chiefs got the future of the NFL for a bargain. It’s not every day when you can sign a player who practically guarantees you a Super Bowl berth every year. He’s like a mini, more exciting (no offense), and younger version of (arguably) the greatest football player of all time, Tom Brady.
Back to the question at hand. Let me give you a hint. It’s not the commissioner (duh), it’s not a coach, it’s not even Patrick. It’s the big dogs who run the show. The exclusive company of the elitist of the elite. I’m talking about the 32 NFL team owners.
Now, with 32 options, can you guess which owner I’m talking about?
It’s David Tepper, the hedge fund billionaire who recently purchased the Carolina Panthers for a whopping $2.2 billion back in 2018.
The thing about being an NFL team owner is that regardless of the price a team is purchased, there is almost a 100% guarantee that there will be a positive ROI or return on investment.
For example, the Panthers are now worth $2.55 billion. David Tepper made roughly $350 million or a roughly 16% increase in two years from owning the team.
The best part? The Panthers got worse! I don’t say that to knock on the Panthers’ playing ability. I say to prove my point, that purchasing and owning an NFL team may be one of the safest investments a person could make because even when a team does bad, an NFL team owner is still raking in cash … assuming one already has well over a billion dollars.
The Panthers are not the most profitable team. They aren’t even close (Dallas Cowboys, “America’s Team,” generated $980M alone in 2019). I’m just stating that the richest owner is David Tepper. He’s currently worth $13B according to Forbes.
This actually highlights a deeper layer of the economics of the NFL. The NFL is growing at a ridiculous rate still, generating over $15 billion dollars a year. That’s almost double what the NBA makes a year.
It seems like a safe bet to say that every NFL team and the league as a whole took a hit on in revenue because of Covid-19, but the NFL will still be pulling in close numbers to what they usually make. That’s because regardless of fans or not, the NFL makes most of its money from TV deals. And with no fans in stadiums, everyone is watching the games on TV, it’s safe to say that the value of each NFL team will grow.
It’s crazy to think that even with a global pandemic ensuing, NFL team owners are still making bank.
I’m more curious than anything to see what the NFL brings in this year. I did a piece on how Adam Silver is a great commissioner, maybe the best in sports, in terms of growing the sport and navigating the pandemic. But I didn’t take a look at the financial side of things. It’ll be an interesting article to compare Roger Goodell and Silver side by side to finally establish who is the best commissioner.
So what is the big takeaway? If you want to grow your money (and you have the money), buy an NFL team. Seems to be working for everyone who has ever owned an NFL team.