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BY Abu Mubarik, 9:55am July 21, 2023,

Magic Johnson makes history as co-owner of NFL’s Washington Commanders

Magic Johnson: Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Daniel Benavides from Austin, TX

NBA legend Magic Johnson has expanded his business empire after officially becoming co-owner of the Washington Commanders. Johnson was part of a group of investors led by billionaire Josh Harris that successfully acquired the NFL team.

The $6 billion deal, according to NBC News, was unanimously approved by NFL owners to end Daniel Snyder’s ownership of the team. Allegations of workplace misconduct were leveled against him and he was reportedly fined $60 million after it was found that the team did not disclose revenue it was expected to share with other franchises, the news outlet reported.

The deal will make Johnson the first Black co-owner of the franchise, who indicated that joining the Commander’s ownership group was a big deal to him. In a tweet, he said he grew up as a fan of the NFL and watched games every week.

“I’m especially thankful to Josh Harris who allowed me to be one of his partners with the Commanders,” he tweeted. “He is an amazing man, great friend, incredible businessman, proven owner and winner with the Philadelphia 76ers. Josh and his team have been first class throughout this entire process. Our ownership team is committed to the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia community and fanbase to bring a winning team and best in class organization.”

He further described the deal as the biggest achievement in his business career and a historic moment for the entire Black community. Touching on his business ventures in Washington, DC area, he noted that he was one of the owners of Washington Hilton, built multiple Starbucks franchises and Magic Johnson Theaters as well as empowerment centers with the Magic Johnson Foundation.

“I also have my company SodexoMAGIC headquartered here. The DMV community has embraced and supported me, and I am honored and ecstatic to be a co-owner of the Commanders franchise,” he added in a tweet.

Born Earvin Johnson Jr., Johnson is an NBA Hall of Famer who was first inducted in 2002 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as a member of the Dream Team. His illustrious career in the NBA spanned seventeen years, from 1979 to 1996.

First drafted in 1979, Johnson entered the league and played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons. His career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, 12 All-Star games, and 10 All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. 

While enjoying his career as an NBA player, Johnson had an eye for business. His desire to become a businessman when his basketball career ended made him build a connection with legendary super-agent Michael Ovitz to teach him how to be a successful businessman.

Since retiring from the NBA, he has made one business move after the other. He has over 100 Starbucks stores in several cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, San Diego, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. Additionally, he owned several Burger King restaurants in diverse locations. In 2004, he bought 30 Burger King restaurants in Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, and Miami, and later sold them for $15 million, The Sports Rush reported.

In 2015, Johnson made a big push into the financial services sector. He added a 60% acquisition of a Life Insurance Company to his business portfolio. At the time he made the acquisition, USA Today reported that EquiTrust Life Insurance Company managed $14.5 billion in annuities, life insurance, and other financial products.

A year after his venture into the financial services sector, he opened the first-ever 24-Hour Fitness Magic Johnson Sports club in Oakland. The Oakland club is “47,000 square feet in size and has an array of exercise equipment and programs, an indoor pool, spa, steam room, sauna, and a regulation NBA-sized basketball court,” according to San Francisco Business Times.

Johnson also has a stake in other businesses, including the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, Hero Ventures – the company behind The Marvel Experience, the Los Angeles Sparks Women’s National Basketball Association team, and an investment in Vibe Holdings – a New York-based magazine and television.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 21, 2023


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