According to Forbes’ 2022 list, the world’s ten richest sports owners are worth a total of $353 billion. Former Microsoft CEO and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers Steve Ballmer reclaimed his title as the most prosperous sports team owner on the planet.
The former CEO of Microsoft is 33% richer this year, worth an estimated $91.4 billion, thanks to the tech giant’s soaring stock, briefly passing Reliance Industries CEO and Mumbai Indians owner Mukesh Ambani (worth an estimated $90.7 billion). Notably, the pair has been vying for the top spot in the sports world since 2016 and this year was Steve’s turn.
Notable names that missed the list of the richest owners in sports this year include Roman Abramovich the soon-to-be-former owner of Premier League club Chelsea FC, who has had a turbulent start to 2022. This is the first time in six years that he is missing the list.
Another name that narrowly missed the top 10 is Stan Kroenke, a real estate and sports magnate with an estimated $10.7 billion net worth. This is despite owning the world’s most valuable private sports empire, including the Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Avalanche, and Denver Nuggets.
Kroenke’s NHL-best Avalanche could be on their way to a Stanley Cup title just months after his Rams won Super Bowl LVI against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Below are the top 10 wealthiest sports owners;
1. Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer is the proud owner of the Los Angeles Clippers which Forbes values at $3.3 billion. The former Microsoft CEO purchased the team for a lofty $2 billion eight years ago.
However, Microsoft’s stock has allowed Ballmer to run up the score since its shares are up more than 600% over the same period, adding more than $65 billion to his net worth. In the last year, his fortune has increased by $22.7 billion. His net worth is estimated at a whopping $91.4 billion.
2. Mukesh Ambani
With a net worth of $90.7 billion, Mukesh Ambani, owner of the Mumbai Indians, is not far behind. The Mumbai Indians are the symbol of the Indian Premier League, having won a record five league titles.
3. François Pinault
François Pinault, the owner of the Stade Rennais FC, is still chasing Ligue 1 rivals Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain. The entire French soccer universe will receive a significant cash infusion due to Covid-19’s financial struggles. CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm, reportedly invests $1.6 billion in Ligue 1’s commercial arm.
François’s net worth is estimated at $40.4 billion.
4. Dietrich Mateschitz
Mateschitz’s team comprises New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Racing, and RB Leipzig.
Mateschitz has had limited success with his soccer clubs, including the MLS’s New York Red Bulls and the German Bundesliga’s RB Leipzig. His crown jewel, however, has emerged in Formula 1.
Last season, rising star Max Verstappen led Red Bull Racing to its first championship since 2013, ending Mercedes’ seven-year streak.
Mateschitz’s net worth is estimated at $27.4 billion.
5. Daniel Gilbert
Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and one of the richest owners in sports, has lost more than half of his fortune due to a steep drop in the share price of Rocket Companies. The Cavaliers have, however, had better luck this season, and they have a chance to make the NBA playoffs for the first time since LeBron James left for Los Angeles in 2018.
Gilbert’s net worth is estimated to be around $22 billion.
6. Masayoshi Son
Masayoshi, owner of Fukuoka’s SoftBank hawks has built a powerhouse conglomerate in SoftBank Group over the last 40 years, backed by early wins with Yahoo and Alibaba, to name a few.
In 2005, the company added baseball to its portfolio by acquiring the Nippon Professional Baseball Hawks. The club has been one of the most successful in the league since then, winning seven Japan Series championships.
The estimated net worth of Masayoshi is $21.3 billion
7. Steve Cohen
Cohen is the owner of the New York Mets. The Mets have surpassed the Yankees as New York’s biggest spenders under Cohen, the game’s most prosperous individual owner.
The Mets have the league’s second-highest payroll, at $252 million, trailing only the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cohen’s fortune also played a role in MLB’s most recent collective bargaining agreement, with a new luxury-tax tier dubbed the “Cohen Tax” informally.
Cohen’s net worth is estimated at $17.4 billion.
8. David Tepper
David Tepper purchased the Carolina Panthers in 2018 at an estimated $2.31 billion. The Panthers have yet to win a game under Tepper.
Despite the Panthers not winning a game under Tepper yet, skyrocketing media deals have already resulted in a sizable return on his investment. The Panthers now value an estimated $2.91 billion, $600 million more than Tepper paid them.
Tepper’s net worth is estimated at $16.7 billion.
9. Robert Pera
Robert Pera is the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies. Despite Pera’s Grizzlies being the NBA’s least valuable team, it does not mean he hasn’t reaped the benefits of team valuations skyrocketing. The Grizzlies are now worth an estimated $1.5 billion after his $377 million purchase of the team in 2012.
His net worth is estimated at $14.6 billion.
10. Philip Anschutz
Anschutz with his team the Los Angeles Kings, and LA Galaxy won the Stanley Cup twice in the 2010s, and after a three-year hiatus, his Kings will make another run.
In July, he sold his 27% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers to Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and Mark Walters for an estimated $1.2 billion, but he still owns Crypto.com Arena.
Philip’s net worth is estimated at $10.9 billion.
Inflation and a volatile market have cost public team owners like Roman Abramovich (worth an estimated $6.9 billion), Daniel Gilbert (worth an estimated $22 billion), and Masayoshi Son ($21.3 billion) more than half of their fortunes. Despite the headwinds, the world’s ten wealthiest sports team owners’ combined wealth remains relatively flat this year, at $353 billion, thanks to a few big gainers.
However, the future of sports for the richest players and owners in sports appears bright due to the influx of new revenue streams from cryptocurrency companies, gambling operators, and sports data providers, hastening the recovery from pandemic-related losses.