SBD/Issue 236/Franchises

Venus, Serena Williams Officially Become Dolphins Part-Owners

Serena And Venus Williams
Join Dolphins Ownership Group
The Dolphins have added "some serious talent to their ownership group, this time in the form of athleticism instead of entertainment," as Venus and Serena Williams yesterday were officially introduced as part-Owners of the team, according to Jeff Darlington of the MIAMI HERALD. The Williams sisters join entertainers Gloria and Emilio Estefan and Marc Anthony, "all of whom have bought a small stake in what is becoming a star-studded cast of owners." Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross said the addition of the Williams sisters to the team's ownership group "further reflects our commitment to connect with aggressively and embrace the great diversity that makes South Florida a multicultural gem." Darlington notes the Williams sisters become the "first black females to hold a limited stake in an NFL team." The NFL has "no black majority owners" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/26). The Williams sisters said that they will "attend games when they can, help with charity events in South Florida that benefit the team's foundation and even lend their business acumen." Dolphins Senior Adviser and former USTA Chief Exec of Professional Tennis Arlen Kantarian said that Venus' interior design company, V Starr Interiors, "might design a stadium lounge," and her EleVen clothing line and Serena's Aneres apparel and accessories company "might do some cross-promotion with the team" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 8/26). In West Palm Beach, Hal Habib writes, "How high their profiles will be now remains to be seen" (PALM BEACH POST, 8/26). Ross said the Williams sisters joining the team helps "create an excitement that I think is needed in today's times and really marketing and selling football and it's very inspirational." Serena said becoming part-Owner is a "good opportunity, being role models." Serena: "I think we've always considered ourselves role models and kind of embraced being a role model for other children of all ages, of all sexes, and of all races. And I thought that this is, this would be another opportunity to expand our role model status" (THE DAILY).

SINGING A DIFFERENT TUNE: Ross, when asked about the team's new fight song and playing Jimmy Buffett's Fins when the team scores, said, "You don't get a feeling for impact until you try something. We're experimenting. That's what preseason is for. I think Jimmy Buffett will definitely be part of it, he's not going away. We happen to like the song, we've gotten a tremendous amount of favorable comments with regard to that. I think the T-Pain version was controversial. You have to realize, people inherently don't like change. Same old, same old." Dolphins CEO Mike Dee added, "T-Pain contributed that song, we played it at the first preseason game. Again it was a preseason game, we were experimenting and continue to experiment. There are at least two other people I know of, who want to contribute their own version of the fight song, different than T-Pain's." More Ross: "We want to start a ritual, we don't know what song it will be, after the third period, there will be a song we'll sing on a continual basis. I can't tell you what that song will be. To inspire people, like the seventh inning stretch, and really inspire the team." Meanwhile, when asked if the team has "plans to change the team colors and uniforms," Ross said, "We haven't even looked at that. I haven't thought of it" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 8/25).

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