Can Sean “Diddy” Combs Buy The Panthers?
By Marc Hayes
Jerry Richardson, the former Baltimore Colt player and current owner of the Carolina Panthers will put the team up for sale as of the last game of this football season. Sean Combs expressed a desire to buy the team on Twitter shortly after Richardson made the announcement. Can Combs pull together an ownership group and will the NFL owners vote for a group lead by Combs?
Richardson and The Panthers
Richardson, 81 years old, has been the owner of the panthers since being granted the franchise by the NFL in 1993. Richardson is being investigated by the NFL after reports of sexual misconduct and the use of inappeopriate racial slurs. The Panthers have appeared in two Super Bowls. They lost them both times. They are again in a position to make it to the playoffs and into the Super Bowl.
Sean Combs and an Ownerahip Group
Mr. Combs has made his desire to own the Carolina Panthers franchise known to the world. The NBA’s Steph Curry and former NFL player/civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick have expressed interest in joining Sean Combs ownership group. Forbes estimates Sean Combs’ wealth at around $820 million. The combined wealth of Combs, Curry and Kaepernick’s would be close to $1 billion. Forbes magazine Estimates the value of the Carolina Panthers to be around $2.4 billion. Mr. Combs and his investment group would have to raise at least $2.4 billion and be ready to up the ante if there’s competition from members of the current ownership group as well as other bidders looking to make an investment in an NFL franchise. If Mr. Combs can organize an investment group consisting of other wealthy like-minded investors it would make a powerful statement and could contribute to other organized “minority” investment partnerships.
The NFL Owners
Currently the NFL’s only “minority” owner is Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan who is from Pakistan. Mr. Khan’s estimated wealth is $6.7 billion. Mr. Khan has been outspoken regarding the norrow-mindedness of the other NFL owner. In a statement from the Crains business conference earlier this year, Mr. Khan remarked, “You’ve got a bunch of 85-year-old guys who don’t think they’re racist, but they are racist.” The question becomes will the NFL owners allow a Sean Combs led ownership team?
Changes will come to the NFL, in professional sports, and in businesses in general. As more and more Americans disregard the job mentality and progress into entrepreneurial activities. Mr. Combs has the opportunity to make difference and move this progression forward.
Marc Hayes is a Baltimore-based entrepreneuer, motivational speaker and personal and business development coach and trainer.