Owning and operating a team in the National Football league is by no means an easy process and more importantly, it is not something meant for every person out there. You have to be in the 1% of the 1% to even be willing to consider purchasing an NFL team. Ranging from players and staff expenses, to operating expenses, if we go down the road of the costs that league owners incur, your head will be left spinning. However, the returns are equally lucrative as well.
Though there all the owners in the NFL are rich, some of them are richer than others. Today, we will take a look at David Tepper, the owner of the Carolina Panthers organization and the richest owner in the entire NFL, he is worth a whopping $16.7 billion, the Panthers themselves are worth 2.91 million. Tepper purchased the team from Jerry Richardson in 2018 for 2.27 billion dollars.
David Tepper made a significant portion of his income following the 2008 Global Economic crisis:
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Tepper graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh and he later completed his MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon university. He held prominent positions at Equibank, Goldman Sachs, and Republic Steel at the start of his career. While a credit analyst at Goldman, he was on the high-yield debt team in New York and it is here that he gained an in-depth knowledge of distressed debts, bankruptcies, and special debt situations. After this, he decided to venture out on his own and started Appaloosa Management L.L.P along with one of his colleagues, Jack Walton.
Appaloosa gathered a small circle of wealthy investors and went the unconventional way by implementing high-risk high-reward methods such as investing with borrowed money to get larger capital gains, buying the debt of distressed companies such as Algoma Steel, which no longer exists. The big break came when Appaloosa ended up betting big on companies like Enron, Worldcom, Marconi Corp. and Williams Corp. These companies alone led to a 150% increase in Tepper’s portfolio.
Appaloosa start off with $57 million in capital and delivered a 57% return on its assets within just 6 months and the fund’s net worth kept reaching record highs from $300 million in 1994 to $800 million in 1996, and in 2022, Appaloosa managed $3.82 billion worth of assets.
Following the economic crash in 2008, sellers across the market were unloading their banking shares of companies such as Bank of America and Citigroup. Tepper did the opposite, he began to purchase these shares for a fraction of their actual value and in addition to this, he also picked up nearly $2 billion of commercial mortgage-backed securities of AIG. This risky bet yielded a profit of $7 billion to Appaloosa.
What is interesting about Tepper is that he owns a stake in two football franchises, one is the Pittsburgh Steelers in which he is a part owner and invested into in 2009 and the second is the Carolina Panthers that he purchased in 2018 and is the sole owner of. Tepper has always been a big fan of baseball and football and it was one his childhood dreams to play or own or in some way be close and involved with the sport world. He fulfilled that by becoming an NFL owner.
His tenure with the Panthers may not have been the most fruitful as the team is in a rebuilding stage yet again but let us hope Tepper can work his magic in the sports world as well and turn the fate of one of the worst NFL franchises around completely.