Retired sports stars keep playing the game

This week has seen two of the world’s most high-profile former sports stars go back to their roots with the announcement of two separate deals that will make them both owners of professional teams.

Yesterday saw the announcement by David Beckham, the former LA Galaxy, Real Madrid and Manchester United footballer, that he is launching a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami with the aim of having a stadium and team built to compete in the 2017/2018 season.

The same day, Magic Johnson continued to expand his interests in sports teams with the announcement that he and his existing business partner, Mark Walter, are to acquire the Los Angeles Sparks, a women’s professional basketball team playing in the WNBA. Unlike Beckham, whose MLS franchise is his first foray into professional team ownership, Johnson is an old hand at owning and investing in sports teams. He has previously owned shares in the LA Lakers basketball team, later selling them in 2010, and was a co-investor in the USD 2bn acquisition of the LA Dodgers with Mark Walters, Guggenheim Partners and Stan Kasten in May 2012.

Johnson has made a successful business career for himself since retiring from his hugely successful playing career and no doubt David Beckham will be hoping that his “golden” touch can replicate such success for him as he embarks on sports team ownership.

Filed under: Deals, football, sport, UK, US, basketball