Team(s) owned / ownership stake: Major League Lacrosse | minority
Other titles: Chairman, Body by Jake
How did you come to own a sports team?
I played lacrosse when I was a kid in college, and I wasn’t all that good at it, but it was really fun. Years later, I read an article about David Morrow, a Princeton University lacrosse champion who founded lacrosse apparel and equipment maker Warrior Lacrosse Inc. He started this company in his dorm room; it sounded like this guy was making lacrosse a lifestyle. I called him up, and I asked him two questions: if there was such a thing as professional outdoor lacrosse, and is there a governing body for lacrosse. And he said no. That was May 1998. I got together Morrow and Tim Robertson, the son of Pat Robertson, and we launched the league in 2000 as a summer showcase. We just completed our 15th season and we just expanded to our 9th team. American sports fans love hitting, scoring and speed, and the sport of lacrosse has all of it, but it has never been marketed or presented properly.
Is it an investment or more of a hobby?
It was an investment, it was never a hobby.
Is it a good investment?
It’s been a great investment, and I’m not talking about the money side, but in the kind of people, relationships and knowledge I’ve gained. I’m hoping that somewhere down the line, my children will reap the benefits.
Other than winning, what’s the best thing about owning part of a sports team?
The feeling of showing up at stadiums and seeing people come to games, and that they have become real fans, and having kids come up to me and tell me that one day, they’re going to play in the major league of lacrosse. I had posters of Mickey Mantle on my wall growing up, and now these kids can have the stars of Major League Lacrosse.
What’s the worst thing (besides losing)?
Going out to games and not seeing people in the stands. There’s a lot of competition for the entertainment dollar. We had a team here in Los Angeles in 2008 but it folded. We also had a team in San Francisco, and I was in too much of a rush and it just didn’t grow here. It’s the business of sports.
How many games a season do you attend?
I try to pop in and out at local games around the country, but I always make the all-star and championship games. I guess I attend about half a dozen games a year. Early on, I attended every single game. I used to shake hands, and make announcements at the start of every game and thank people for coming. I would get in the booth at the fourth quarter and host press conferences.
What was your favorite team when you were growing up?
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and it was the New York Mets.
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