Forbes released its annual list of 400 Richest Americans, and not surprisingly, many prominent figures in sports made the cut.
Nike co-founder Phil Knight made his way into the top 20 for the first time in 18 years, thanks to the meteoric rise in the company’s stock. With a real-time net worth of $26 billion on Tuesday morning, Knight is the 15th richest American, according to the magazine. While he doesn’t own a sports team, he is the biggest booster at the University of Oregon, where he ran track for Nike’s other founder, coach Bill Bowerman.
The richest American owner of a U.S. sports team is Steve Ballmer, who bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion last August. With a net worth of $21.6 billion, Ballmer is the 21st richest American. He’s followed in the sports world by former Microsoft colleague Paul Allen ($17.6 billion), who owns the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Rounding out the top five are three minority owners who could be in line to buy a sports franchise. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is worth $12.9 billion (Lakers), and hedge fund managers Steve Cohen (Mets) and David Tepper (Steelers) are worth $12 billion and $11.6 billion, respectively, according to Forbes.
The richest owners of NFL teams, after Allen, includes Stan Kroenke, whose Rams might move to Los Angeles. Kroenke is worth $7.6 billion, while his wife, Wal-Mart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke is worth $4.5 billion. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is third among NFL owners worth at $6.7 billion, followed by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan ($5.6 billion) and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ($5 billion).
The richest NBA owners, after Ballmer and Allen, are Miami Heat owner Micky Arison ($7.7 billion), Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos ($5.6 billion) and New York Knicks and New York Rangers owner Charles Dolan ($4.7 billion). Dolan’s son, James, oversees the teams.
The richest owner of a baseball team is the Ted Lerner of the Washington Nationals ($5.5 billion). Detroit Tigers owner Michael Ilitch ($5.4 billion) is second. Forbes projects that Boston Red Sox owner John Henry and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Mark Walter are each worth $2.2 billion.
Ilitch also owns the Detroit Red Wings. Others from the NHL on the list include Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs and Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula, who also owns the NFL’s Bills. Forbes says Jacobs and Pegula are each worth $4 billion.
Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank, thanks to a tremendous year at retail and on the market, is now worth $3.9 billion. Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, who own UFC, are worth $1.7 billion each.