SBD/September 19, 2012/Franchises

Magic Johnson Discloses He Invested $50M In Guggenheim's Purchase Of Dodgers

Dodgers investor Magic Johnson was profiled on HBO’s “Real Sports” last night, and Johnson disclosed he invested $50M in Guggenheim Baseball Management's purchase of the team. HBO's Jon Frankel noted Johnson becoming an investor in the Dodgers “was the crowning achievement in one of the most remarkable second acts in modern American life." Johnson said, “I’m a control freak and I don’t apologize for that. I never invest in anything that I don’t have say-so in.” Frankel asked, “You’re not a silent partner?” Johnson: “I don’t know how to be silent.” Frankel noted when groups began to bid on the Dodgers earlier this year, they knew they "would need a popular face.” Johnson said, “My phone started ringing and about five or six billionaires called me. ... They all wanted to sit down with me and include me in their group as they made a pitch and made a run after the Dodgers. So I interviewed all of them and my first question, ‘Do you want to win?’” Frankel asked, “What did they want from you specifically from day-to-day?” Johnson: “Well, write a big check first.” Frankel followed Johnson around Dodger Stadium on a gameday, and fans continuously came up to him to take pictures and thank him for acquiring the team. Frankel: “Forgive Dodger fans for treating Johnson like a savior because to them that’s exactly what he is, rescuing the franchise from the previous owners, Frank and Jamie McCourt, after their sensational divorce put an iconic team in the tabloids and bankruptcy" (“Real Sports,” HBO, 9/18).
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