SBD/Issue 38/Sports Industrialists

Forbes Profiles The "Secretive" Phil Anschutz And His AEG Empire

Through AEG, Anschutz
Controls 120 Venues

PHIL ANSCHUTZ is "one of the most secretive moguls in America," and these days "his chief theater of operations" is AEG, serving as Chair of the privately held company with an estimated revenue of $2B, according to Christopher Helman of FORBES. Through AEG, Anschutz "controls 120 entertainment venues around the world," and he "likes to fill his venues, controlling every end of the take." AEG has ownership in both the Lakers and NHL Kings, who play at company-owned Staples Center, and AEG's The Home Depot Center hosts the MLS Galaxy, another company-owned franchise. AEG has stakes in "seven other franchises worldwide." Outside of sports, AEG is "second to Live Nation in the $4.4-billion-a-year concert business," although it is "far more selective about the acts it underwrites, sticking with artists more likely to sell out tours." AEG President & CEO TIM LEIWEKE said that AEG "is making money" on the concert business, while Live Nation lost $80M on the business in the first half of '10. In addition, AEG aims to "double its venues in five years," and in partnership with RYAN SEACREST, "soon plans to launch a new music-and-lifestyle-themed TV network." Helman notes despite his company's success, Anschutz has an "allergic reaction to publicity." Those who know him "or have worked with him say Anschutz is a down-to-earth, hard-driving businessman with a fondness for chomping on little unlit cigars." Leiweke, who notes he has spoken with his boss "every day" for the past 15 years, said, "He has no ego. He is the anti-DONALD TRUMP." There have been "Anschutz sightings over the last few years." He has been "spotted in the stands" at Staples Center during Lakers games, and he has "run in marathons and ridden in bike races." He also "regularly jogs to his office in Denver, arriving at 6:30 a.m." But as "far as anyone can remember, he has given one press conference -- in 1988" (FORBES, 11/8 issue).

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