The NFL is among the wealthiest sports leagues in the world, with teams worth billions upon billions of dollars. But the owners are worth even more.
And while it’s true that some owners are more actively involved in the day-to-day than others, each is responsible in for steering the team towards success on and off the field. So, which football franchises have the best (and worst) investors? Read on to find out where your team’s owner ranks…
The NFL’s Most Successful Takeovers
The NFL is adored around the world for its excitement and superstardom, all of which is funded by owners who love to see their team succeed. But which football investors are the best at what they do?
New England Patriots
Investor Index Score: 82.1
Principle Owners & Purchase Price: Robert Kraft (1994) - $172 Million
Current Value & ROI: $5 Billion - 2,807%
In the 28 years since taking over the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft has helped deliver more championships per year than any other owner, and the only investor to win an average of more than one a year. The Patriots have won 34 titles since 1994, including a record six Super Bowls, and boast a win rate of 68.6% during his tenure.
Los Angeles Rams
Investor Index Score: 65.1
Principle Owners & Purchase Price: Stan Kroenke (2010) - $750 Million
Current Value & ROI: $4.8 Billion - 540%
Stan Kroenke has been at the helm of the Los Angeles Rams for just over a decade, and recently helped deliver their first Super Bowl since 1999. Overall, the team has won a total of six championships during his 12-year reign, working out at one every two years, and the franchise’s value has grown more quickly than under any other current owner - $337.5 million per year.
Investor index score: 54.0
Principle owners and purchase price: Jerry Jones (1989) - $150 million
Current value and ROI: $6.5 billion – 4,223%
The Dallas Cowboys have earned an impressive 17 championship titles during Jerry Jones’ 33-year ownership, including three Super Bowls won between 1992-1995 – that’s just over one league, division, or conference title every other year. The franchise has also won just over half the games played under his ownership (54%) and recorded a staggering average growth in value of $192.4 million per year.
Investor index score: 50.3
Principle owners and purchase price: Paul G. Allen Trust (1997) - $194 million
Current value and ROI: $3.5 billion – 1,704%
In the quarter of a century that the Paul G. Allen Trust has owned the Seahawks, the Seattle franchise has earned a reputable 14 championships, including Super Bowl XLVIII. This rate of on-field success ranks the Seahawks fourth for championships per year under current ownerships. Impressively, they’ve also achieved a win rate of 56.4% under the existing owners and increased in value by an average of $132.2 million annually.
Investor index score: 50.0
Principle owners and purchase price: Steve Bisciotti (2004) - $600 million
Current value and ROI: $3.4 billion – 467%
Steve Bisciotti has owned the Baltimore Ravens for nearly two decades, winning seven championships during his time at the helm. This includes one Super Bowl, the second in the franchise’s history, and one conference title. While this might only equate to 0.39 championships a season, the team has achieved an astounding win rate of 58.9% under Bisciotti’s leadership – second only to the Patriots under current owners.
The NFL’s Least Successful Takeovers
We’ve looked at the NFL’s greatest investors, but what about the other end of the table? Which football owners are the worst of the lot?
Investor index score: 13.3
Principle owners and purchase price: Michael Bidwell (1932) - $50,000
Current value and ROI: $2.65 billion – 5,299,900%
The Bidwells have owned the Arizona Cardinals since the 30s when then-investor Charles Bidwell bought the franchise for just $50,000. In the years since, the Cardinals has grown in value by an average of $29.4 million each year, to become a goliath worth over $2.6 billion. However, in the nine decades of ownership, the team has only ever won one NFL Championship (it wasn’t even called the Super Bowl at the time!) and achieved a win rate of just 39.6%.
Investor index score: 14.1
Principle owners and purchase price: William Clay Ford Family (1963) - $4.5 million
Current value and ROI: $2.4 billion – 53,233%
The William Clay Ford Family have owned the Detroit Lions for almost six decades, a period that’s seen the franchise win just three division titles at a rate of only 0.05 championships per year. The Lions’ win rate during this time isn’t much better either, sitting at just 40.8% and the fifth lowest of all teams under current owners.
Investor index score: 19.0
Principle owners and purchase price: Jimmy and Dee Haslam (2012) - $987 million
Current value and ROI: $2.6 billion – 163%
Jimmy and Dee Haslam may have only owned the Cleveland Browns for ten years so far, but they’ve managed to oversee the second-worst win rate of any NFL franchise under existing owners (32.2%), ahead of just the Jacksonville Jaguars. They’ve also failed to lead the franchise to any championships but have managed to achieve a growth in value averaging $161.3 million per year.
Investor index score: 19.4
Principle owners and purchase price: David Tepper (2018) - $2.3 billion
Current value and ROI: $2.91 billion – 27%
David Tepper has as-yet only overseen the Carolina Panthers for four years, so can be forgiven for not creating a championship-winning dynasty just yet, but the team has only won 33.9% of all games entirely under his stewardship - the third worst of any team under current owners. The silver lining, though, is that the franchise does rank among the top ten teams for growth in value since being taken over, at an average of $152.6 million per year.
Investor index score: 21.5
Principle owners and purchase price: Shahid Khan (2012) - $770 million
Current value and ROI: $2.8 billion – 264%
Considered the fifth worst NFL investor, Shahid Khan has owned the Jacksonville Jaguars for ten years now, with just one division title to show for it. Fans have had an objectively torrid time under his stewardship, too, winning just one-in-four games (26.1%) since the takeover – the lowest of all teams under current owners. Khan will be delighted with the financials, though, with the Jaguars sitting second behind only the LA Rams for growth in value since being taken over (average of $203 million per year).
With the latest NFL draft now complete, owners’ attention will be largely focused on the new season and preparing their franchise for on-field success. Whichever team you support, check out the latest NFL odds and picks, or discover the latest news in sports betting in Ohio. Be sure to check back here often in preparation for the January 2023 launch of legal Ohio sports betting online.
To determine the NFL’s best investors, we considered three factors (all recorded from the year of investment): number of championships won, average win rate, and the average annual increase in value of the team.
- Championships Per Year
This metric was calculated by noting all the championships won (Super Bowl, conference, division), and dividing by the number of years of ownership.
- Win Rate
This metric was calculated by analyzing historical results data since the takeover. Each season’s average win percentage was summed, and a mean average was determined.
- Team Value Increase Per Year
This metric was calculated by subtracting each NFL team’s 2022 value by its initial purchase price. The difference in value was divided by the years of ownership.
Each of the three factors was ranked and weighted equally, before being combined to give a total index score out of 100. The higher the score, the better the owner.
For media inquiries, contact mediarequest@GDCgroup.com.
When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing BetOhio.com.