Monthly Archives: April 2014

American Professional Sports Teams Valued At Combined $92.4 Billion; African American Stake 0.4 Percent

By William A. Foster, IV

Life is all memory, except for the present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going. — Tennessee Williams


In 1619, the Dutch introduced the first captured Africans to America. I tend to imagine that in 1819 there was an African standing around saying to himself, “I can not believe this is still happening in the 19th century.” It appears that a year on a calendar is suppose to have some magical power. In 2014, African Americans still stand around and say “I can not believe this is happening in 2014.” Again, they say this as if time has some magic power to make people behave in some way they have not been behaving for the past four hundred years. At some point you wonder if its not them who has the problem, but us who are continuously surprised by it. Do we so desperately want to get along that we ignore the rules of nature? The law of resources and power to ensure survival.

Recently, a NBA owner made some disparaging comment about African Americans. This has been more newsworthy in African America than the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide where 1 million Rwandans were killed in 100 days or 234 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped at gunpoint taking their physics exams. Let that sink in for a minute. African Americans are about to march over something a European American man said, but were virtually silent during the genocide. The team “almost” boycotted a game over a word, but ever since the Jordan-era started in 1984, African American athletes have become increasingly mute on any social issue of substance. That anyone is considering marching over this is a slap in the face for what people actually marched for during the Civil Rights Movement in my humble opinion. Rarely is it remembered that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last march was about economic empowerment and that he called for African Americans to bank in their own banks, etc.

Almost seventy years after Jackie Robinson unintentionally sealed the fate of African American ownership in professional sports the relationship between African American muscle and European American control of that labor from high school to the pros has become increasingly troubling. Today, there are 141 professional sports teams (NFL, NBA, NHL, & MLS) in America with only 1 African American owner or equal to 0.7 percent. The combined economic value of those teams is $92.4 billion according to Forbes, while African America’s ownership stake in that is 0.4 percent or the $410 million that the Michael Jordan owned Charlotte Bobcats are worth. Jordan’s Bobcats are the only African American owned professional sports team and next to dead last in value of NBA teams.

Jordan himself has been somewhat of an enigma within the African American psyche. He was once one of the investors’ that helped Spike Lee finish funding Malcolm X when the studios cut off his funding for the film. However, most of what he has been known for is the name behind the shoes that have shaped two generations of consumption by African Americans in a way that requires an entire study. I will never forget parents of African American kids in my high school allowing their children to miss the first couple periods of school in order to be the first ones at the mall to buy the shoes. Naturally, they would show up at school with these shoes for the world to see. As a result Phil Knight, the founder and owner of Nike, even in 2014 a full decade plus after Jordan’s last game still sees the company reap $2.25 billion in revenue from the Jordan brand in 2013. Michael Jordan’s “reward” for the stellar year for Nike was $90 million, which sounds great until you realize it is only 4 percent of the revenues generated. The reality is that Nike would have never been the Nike we know it to be without the Jordan brand. However, we also see why capitalism rewards the ownership of hard workers and not the hard worker. Phil Knight is worth an estimated $18.7 billion and Michael Jordan is worth an estimated $750 million or ironically enough 4 percent of Knight’s wealth.

So what is holding up more African American ownership in professional sports? Quite frankly, money, financial aptitude, and poor financial planning. Yes, despite the appearance of making lots of money. In the echelon of wealth, athletes are at best upper middle class. The top 10 earning African Americans earn only $0.07 for every $1.00 their top ten European American counterparts earn annually. In other words, the top ten African Americans earned approximately $700 million in 2012 while David Tepper, hedge fund manager, earned $2.2 billion by himself in 2013. Professional sports teams are rarely ever owned by former players. In fact, other than Michael Jordan only Carolina Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson is a former player. The latter made his wealth not in sports, but in the food industry. His company, which he started after retiring from a short NFL career in 1961, by 1995 was the largest publicly listed company in South Carolina and owned 2 500 restaurants with over 100 000 employees. Athletes simply do not make enough for a prolonged period of time to generate the kind of wealth it would take to purchase a professional sports franchise. Not even taking into the account most of these athletes make poor investments and have egregious consumption habits as noted in ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary. If you did not know any better you would think they were the billionaires. The reality is professional sports owners are business tycoons not athletes. Sports teams for them are another investment in their portfolio. Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, also owns prime residential and retail real estate developments around Dallas, over 100 Papa Johns’ franchises, and still has major stakes in oil and gas wells just to name a few of his enterprises. Then there is Paul Allen, the wealthiest sports owner in America with a net worth of almost $16 billion, owns both the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. He was the co-founder of Microsoft and now is a major real estate owner in Seattle along with a large portfolio of tech, media, and energy stocks.

I could see Jamal Mashburn owning a team one day given his post-NBA career business acumen. He currently owns 71 restaurants in his portfolio and I imagine he will continue to expand his portfolio with prudence. African Americans are still too dependent on entertaining to create wealth and not our brain. There still has never been an African American present on Institutional Investors’ Alpha List that tracks the highest paid hedge fund managers annually. In 2013, to make the Alpha list you needed to have earned $380 million just to make the top ten and $900 million to make the top five. Keep in mind that all African American professional athletes combined earn $4 billion annually. Did I mention David Tepper earned $2.2 billion by himself last year? One thing remains undeniable, the power is in the “briefcase” not the ball.

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Language, Economy & Society: The Changing Fortunes of the Welsh Language


In this new edition the authors present new sets of language data both for individuals and for households in Wales and examine the impact of migration on the language, the relationship between social class and ability to speak Welsh, and the bases for the reproduction and maintenance of the language within the context of the family. The final chapter considers the prospects for the language in the light of new political and institutional developments (including the National Assembly for Wales), recent planning issues (most notably housing) and developments in the critically important field of education.

This book is an essential reference source for those concerned with the changing status and vitality of the Welsh language and of other minority languages in Europe. It provides a framework and a factual context in which to set such issues as language planning and policy formulation at local and national levels.

HBCU Money™ Dozen 4/21 – 4/25


Did you miss HBCU Money™ Dozen via Twitter? No worry. We are now putting them on the site for you to visit at your leisure. We have made some changes here at HBCU Money™ Dozen. We are now solely focused on research and central bank articles from the previous week.


Sandia Labs spawning entrepreneurs, survey shows l Sandia National Labs

Online black market designed to evade feds l NetworkWorld

A great opportunity for middle-school science teachers who teach about watersheds! 7/7-12 l DE Sea Grant

US Solar Energy Grew An Astounding 418% From 2010-2014 l Clean Technica

The importance of enterprise apps to Apple’s strategy l CIOonline

The 5 mathematical laws that rule our brains: Law 1 – the small-world network l New Scientist

Federal Reserve, Central Banks, & Financial Departments

In Africa, 3 nationwide performance-based financing programs & 17 with pilot programs l World Bank

Around the world, gender gaps in labor markets ebb and flow l St. Louis Fed

Economic expansion in NC & SC accelerated in April, while expectations remained solid l Richmond Fed

Personal finance flash cards as study aids: Learn how to make smart financial decisions l EconLowDown

Which is a better measurement of American oil prices: WTI or Brent crude? l St. Louis Fed

How good is your country at using technology? Map l World Economic Forum

Thank you as always for joining us on Saturday for HBCU Money™ Dozen. The 12 most important research and finance articles of the week.

The HBCU Money™ Weekly Market Watch

Our Money Matters /\ April 25, 2014

A weekly snapshot of African American owned public companies and HBCU Money™ tracked African stock exchanges.


African American Publicly Traded Companies

Citizens Bancshares Georgia (CZBS) $8.10 (0.00% UNCH)

M&F Bancorp (MFBP) $4.25 (0.00% UNCH)

Radio One (ROIA) $4.58 (1.08% DN)

African Stock Exchanges

Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM)  241.07 (0.69% UP)

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)  8 890.16 (0.18% DN)

Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE)  2 276.12 (6.10% UP)*

Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE)  148.46 (N/A)

Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) 48 910.90 (0.05% DN)

International Stock Exchanges

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) 10 533.44 (0.61% DN)

London Stock Exchange (LSE)  3 580.59 (0.32% DN)

Tokyo Stock Exchange (TOPIX)  1 169.99 (0.44% UP)


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HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power


The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Seattle Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Bloomberg Businessweek

In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.

Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things—women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, and Paris—Jefferson loved America most, and he strove over and over again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson’s world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of rife partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.

The father of the ideal of individual liberty, of the Louisiana Purchase, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and of the settling of the West, Jefferson recognized that the genius of humanity—and the genius of the new nation—lay in the possibility of progress, of discovering the undiscovered and seeking the unknown. From the writing of the Declaration of Independence to elegant dinners in Paris and in the President’s House; from political maneuverings in the boardinghouses and legislative halls of Philadelphia and New York to the infant capital on the Potomac; from his complicated life at Monticello, his breathtaking house and plantation in Virginia, to the creation of the University of Virginia, Jefferson was central to the age. Here too is the personal Jefferson, a man of appetite, sensuality, and passion.

The Jefferson story resonates today not least because he led his nation through ferocious partisanship and cultural warfare amid economic change and external threats, and also because he embodies an eternal drama, the struggle of the leadership of a nation to achieve greatness in a difficult and confounding world.

Praise for Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
“This is probably the best single-volume biography of Jefferson ever written.”—Gordon S. Wood
“A big, grand, absorbing exploration of not just Jefferson and his role in history but also Jefferson the man, humanized as never before.”Entertainment Weekly

“[Meacham] captures who Jefferson was, not just as a statesman but as a man. . . . By the end of the book . . . the reader is likely to feel as if he is losing a dear friend. . . . [An] absorbing tale.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“This terrific book allows us to see the political genius of Thomas Jefferson better than we have ever seen it before. In these endlessly fascinating pages, Jefferson emerges with such vitality that it seems as if he might still be alive today.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin