Some sports teams have famous owners. In the NBA, for example, owner Mark Cuban gained fame for his outspokenness after buying the Mavericks. Then there’s the Hornets, owned by arguably the best player in NBA history, Michael Jordan. Not all teams have well-known owners, though. The Bucks fall into this category.
The team has a large ownership group, but the majority owners aren’t names the average person would recognize. So who are the Bucks’ owners? Let’s look at their resumes.
Who are the Milwaukee Bucks’ owners?
Marc Lasry is a law school graduate who entered the financial industry and became a hedge fund manager. In 1995, he co-founded Avenue Capital Group, and he serves as CEO now. Lasry was considered for the position of U.S. ambassador to France in 2013 but declined consideration, and he participated in the 2019 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.
Wes Edens began his career at Lehman Brothers in 1987 before going to BlackRock in 1993 and staying until 1997. The following year he became a co-founder of Fortress Investments, which in 2006 had Nomura Holdings buy 15% of the company for $888 million, making him a billionaire. In 2017, Edens created the eSports team FlyQuest.
Jamie Dinan worked in the stock market early in his career. He lost his entire $600,000 in savings when the market crashed in 1987. By 1991, he was able to raise more than $3 million to start his own hedge fund, York Capital. He sold one-third of the company to Credit Suisse for $425 million in 2010. As of 2018, York had more than $20 billion in assets under management.
Mike Fascitelli earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering and joined Bristol-Myers Squibb in that role in 1978 upon graduating from the University of Rhode Island. After getting an MBA from Harvard in 1982, he began consulting. In 1985, Fascitelli joined the real estate division at Goldman Sachs. He went to Vornado Realty Trust in 1996, becoming the firm’s president, and was elevated to CEO in 2009, stepping down from the role in February 2013.
Other notable owners
A couple of familiar people have small stakes in the team. Most notably, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers bought a limited stake in the team in 2018. Radio executive Craig Karmazin, the son of longtime media executive Mel Karmazin, former CEO of both Sirius Radio and Viacom, bought a stake, too.
When did this group buy the Bucks?
The group led by Lasry and Edens bought the Bucks from Herb Kohl, U.S. senator and former CEO of Kohl’s Department Stores, for $550 million in 2014, according to Bleacher Report. The new owners promised to keep the team in Milwaukee, which Kohl said was a “priority” in finding a new ownership group for the team, which he had owned since 1985.
In a statement announcing the sale, the new owners affirmed their commitment “to the success of the Bucks and the identity of the team as a part of the city of Milwaukee. It is our vision for this franchise to be admired both locally and nationally for its success on the court.”
Do Bucks fans like their owners?
Bucks fans like the ownership group, which bought the team when it was at a low point and has elevated it among the best teams in the league.
This is thanks in large part to the emergence of MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo as well as the team embracing analytics to help the team’s on-court performance, as the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal details. Antetokounmpo is nearing free agency, and if the team trades him or lets him walk, then the fans’ opinion of ownership may change in the future.