Increasingly in the sports world, former – and even current – sports stars are taking ownership stakes in franchises. Could China be part of this growing trend?
Google “David Beckham” these days and right below the tabloid stories about strife with Victoria will be links to his MLS franchise in Miami. Likewise, Derek Jeter, now that he has finally settled down, is out of the gossip pages and back into the sports headlines thanks to his 4% stake in – and CEO role with – the Miami Marlins.
There are plenty of other well known examples: Michael Jordan (majority owner of Charlotte Hornets), LeBron James (stake in Liverpool FC) , Shaquille O’Neal (stake in Sacramento Kings), Venus & Serena Williams (stake in Miami Dolphins). Continue reading Sports stars are buying teams – even in China
Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming may be best known for his on-court exploits, but he’s now facing a challenge of a very different sort as he looks to reform Chinese basketball. In a Chinese sports version of Bannon vs. Kushner, the big man is battling “the establishment” in order to gain influence behind the scenes. But the obstacles he’s facing may be so entrenched that the entire sports industry in China is affected.
Rumors started to circle earlier this year that Yao Ming would be appointed as the new head of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), and despite resistance in certain quarters – including this editorial from state-run news agency Xinhua which called him too young and too inexperienced [link in Chinese] – he seemed the obvious candidate.
Continue reading Yao Ming set to play biggest game of his life