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SBD Global/November 19, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Sports Illustrated Names Stan Kroenke Most-Powerful Man In Sports

Stan Kroenke, who owns several pro sports clubs, including Arsenal, was named SI's Most-Powerful Man In Sports.
STAN KROENKE has "more skin in the sports game -- more assets invested, more holdings, more major franchises -- than anyone else on the planet," according to L. Jon Wertheim of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Kroenke owns the NFL St. Louis Rams, NBA Denver Nuggets, NHL Colorado Avalanche, EPL Arsenal, Denver's Pepsi Center, the Major League Soccer Colorado Rapids and their stadium, the National Lacrosse League Colorado Mammoth and the RSN Altitude Sports & Entertainment. Wertheim wrote, "Inasmuch as money is power, Kroenke is sport's ultimate kingpin, with holdings approaching $4B." Those in Kroenke's "orbit invariably have a story about how Stan ... lacks arrogance or ego or look-at-me sensibilities." Talk about him "with anyone in his circle and the words grounded and humble and normal are in heavy rotation." In both the NBA and NFL offices, he is "regarded as a solid and conscientious partner, a good corporate citizen, easy to work with and easy to find." At league board meetings he "does not seek an active role in shaping policy." Kroenke also runs his franchises like "self-sustaining businesses." His teams "carry little or no debt, while he withdraws virtually no money from them." He launched Tickethorse, which would "become the ticket vendor for all the Kroenke-owned teams and venues." He launched Altitude, then Altitude Authentics, which "sells branded jerseys and team gear." Kroenke also looked at "how his teams and properties could work together." So it was that Altitude "began producing the Rams' preseason games; the Rapids' staff makes an annual trip to visit the Arsenal coaches; Avalanche tickets are available for purchase at Nuggets games." This "kind of sensible, efficient use of resources ... doesn't get you notoriety the way calling plays and incessant tweeting do." But it "makes for good business." Kroenke "points out that he's never sold a team." What does Kroenke think "of treating a team as an expensive toy?" Kroenke: "That's not a viable long-term kind of thing. It's bad for the fans. You want to win, and that's most important, but I wouldn't do it just for a social hobby" (SI, 11/19 issue).

HOLDING HIS OWN: In Denver, Adrian Dater wrote of Kroenke, "I think he's been a good owner for his teams, and that includes" the Avalanche. He seems to "treat his employees fairly." There have been "no layoffs of Avs team employees since the lockout started." He has "always been civil in my few dealings with him." Dater: "Yeah, I wish he were more accessible, but he's not, so that's the way it is" (DENVER POST, 11/16).
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