Dolphins keep selling pieces of the team to celebrities

We’re still not sure what to make of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. 

In less than a year since acquiring controlling interest in the team he has sold small pieces of it to the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, and Venus and Serena Williams.  (The list is already so long that we’re probably leaving someone out.)

The latest part owner?  Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas.

Fergie’s minority stake in the team was approved at Tuesday’s ownership meetings in Boston, per Sean Leahy of USA Today.

And as Tom Pedulla of USA Today points out, the goals are to infuse diversity into ownership — and to attract fans via glitz and glamor.

“We’ve eliminated the exclusivity of it being an all-white man’s club,”
Ross told Pedulla.  “That’s what I want people to feel.  We want you.”

Still, there’s a fine line between running a football team and creating a sideshow of 0.15-percent owners with “A” list name recognition.  And the plan entails some potential peril, given that V.P. of football operations Bill Parcells can walk away at any time and collect the balance of the two-plus years remaining on his contract.  If he wakes up one day and concludes that the guy for whom he now works in South Florida is too much like the guy for whom he worked in North Texas, Parcells might just do it.

Moving forward, it remains to be seen whether other owners engage in similar tactics.  Our guess is that many of them would not want to risk being overshadowed by big-name musicians, actors, and/or athletes, who will be more likely targets of the in-game camera shots. 

But if the goal is to be the captain of a cruise ship where the consumer is more likely to buy a ticket when they think a bunch of celebrities will be milling about the poop deck, maybe there’s a method to what appears to be, in comparison to the other 31 franchises, a possible touch of madness.
  

46 responses to “Dolphins keep selling pieces of the team to celebrities

  1. “We’ve eliminated the exclusivity of it being an all-white man’s club,” Ross told Pedulla.
    Ummm, anyone who has a problem with Limbaugh needs to apply the same reasoning to this statement.

  2. As long as he is not telling Parcells what players to bring in or how to use those players, why the #@#$% would Parcells care what Ross does with the ownership aspect of the team?
    Geeze, Florio. You are always trying to find fire, even when there is no freaking smoke to be found. You and Geraldo Rivera…except at least Geraldo had some accountability. I’m still waiting to read your retraction of your idiotic post about Moss dogging it to join the Vikings and Brett Favre. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

  3. This is part of an all out effort by the Dolphins to get non white fans to come out to the stadium. They’ve been running bilingual commercials and I think I’ve heard something about hispanic pride month or something as well.
    I’ve heard all of this and I’m a Lions fan in Michigan, so they are certainly trying hard to advertise.
    I’m guessing the celebrity stakes with the team are probably a part of this bigger goal by the Dolphins.

  4. Wasn’t it exciting watching the Marc Anthony extravaganza that delayed the kickoff by 15 minutes. Nothing like having a 5″ 1″ Skeletor standing alone in the middle of an 80,000 seat stadium to pump you up for football. And the Gloria Estefan -Hank Williams intro song….jeeeez….might as well grab some old bitties from a nursing home to sing chonga songs.

  5. He should sell the next ownership share to a special needs person so he can get those folks to turn out in force. Then Ross can say “We’ve eliminated the exclusivity of it being an all-white cognitively-functioning man’s club.” I bet that kid Corky from “Life Goes On” could afford the ownership fee.
    Fergie and the Peas can celebrate the new ownership by singing their #1 tune “Let’s get Retarded” at half-time. Come on now, sing along Miami fans “Let’s get retarded, let’s get retarded, let’s get retarded…”

  6. Personally I believe Parcells could care less. I don’t believe Parcells ever had an issue with Jones marketing his team and driving up business. He had issue when Jones dabbled in player issues like signing TO for instance. As long as Ross keeps to his side of things, keeps people from not even remembering Parcells is there he will be happy as a lark.

  7. So, it’s not ok for Rush Limbaugh to want to buy into a team, but it’s ok for an owner to say that he wants to bring together an ownership team as long as it’s diverse. I don’t know which is more racist.
    Can’t we just forget about color already? Let it go and just be people. This drives me up the friggin’ wall.

  8. Yes, the non white fan in Miami doesn’t like football but will if Marc Anthony and umm Jimmy Buffet own a minor share of the team.
    Makes sense.
    I challenge everyone to write the names of these celeb owners down and place the list in a sealed envelope. Then on July 12th see how many names you can recall before opening the envelope. I bet most people will recall MAYBE two. Point being this will have no effect on the team whatsoever. It will only effect the source of the constant noise NFL teams feel they need to pump through the loud speakers during every lull in the action that lasts longer then 3 seconds.
    It wont effect Parcells or ticket sales.

  9. Did we stop checking facts, Florio?
    Jimmy Buffet is NOT a limited partner or part owner. He has been OFFERED a slice, but has not accepted. The only thing he was involved in was updating his crap song Fins for the Dolphins and the naming rights sponsorship for the stadium. That is all.

  10. In this economy what Ross is doing is a smart move. They (celebs) have nothing to do with football operations its strictly about marketing the team to different demographics. Dan Snyder should maybe think about utilizing the same tactics. I hear he could use some extra coin these days.

  11. This is nothing new to the Dolphins, as its original ownership group included Danny Thomas. Once he sold out, it was Joe Robby by himself until he sold out to Wayne H. My take, as long as Ross does not mess with the football side of things, everything will be great. As for the value of having celebrities as owners, this article is an easy example and all of the others that are coming out in non sports outlets that are talking about each celebrity and the Dolphins. Great publicity to fans of each of these artists.

  12. Not a bad idea. Sell a small portion of your interest to a person who will pay lots of money to not have a say just so that they can claim minority ownership.
    Good way to make money for nothin’ off the musicians for a change.

  13. It’s absurd that Ross believes that he’s doing something noble.
    Ha!
    Double ha!!
    So what that he’s turning an NFL franchise into a club!
    Given that he’s not giving up controlling interest, his claim of “exclusivity of it being an all-white man’s club” still exists.
    However, I disagree with his claim because anyone who has the money qualifies to own an NFL franchise.
    Ross is dilutional if he believes that something other than his money sealed the deal.

  14. It’s called “marketing,” he is keeping a buzz with the team for ticket sales. The economy is still stagnant dude, he is selling his product. He has promised not to get involved with the football which is all Parcells is asking(believe he made Parcells a part owner too).

  15. —————————-
    Jimmy Buffett, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, and Venus and Serena Williams……. a sideshow of 0.15-percent owners with “A” list name recognition.
    —————————-
    One of these things is not like the others…..

  16. “# chapnasty says: October 14, 2009 7:02 AM
    “We’ve eliminated the exclusivity of it being an all-white man’s club,” Ross told Pedulla.
    Ummm, anyone who has a problem with Limbaugh needs to apply the same reasoning to this statement.”
    People aren’t against Limbaugh because he’s a white guy.
    People are against Limbaugh because he’s a f*cking asshole.

  17. Check out these quotes from an MSNBC article, and you’ll understand why he’s doing it this way. Maybe more teams should make this kind of effort to market to their specific city population.
    “According to the Census, 58.5 percent of (Miami-Dade county’s) 2.4 million residents speak Spanish — and half of those say they don’t speak English well. English-only speakers make up 27.2 percent of the county’s residents.”
    “in 2006, the Census Bureau estimates (the number of whites) was only 18.5 percent, and in 2015 it is forecast to be 14 percent. Hispanics now make up about 60 percent.”
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24871558/

  18. Jimmy Buffett is not an owner, there is a marketing agreement with his beer, Landshark Lager.
    Being a season ticket holder for 16 years and never missing a home game and i live in Tampa, i like the new style and applaud him for doing something different.
    Both Monday games have reenergized a very lazy and uninspired crowd and just looking around the stadium there is a younger crowd there. Maybe it has something to do with the Hurricanes playing there and people getting more famialier with the place or something.
    Everthing Ross has done has NOTHING to do with the football operations and Miami Herald both have quotes from Sparano,and Ireland, whatever it takes to get fans here for the home team. They are all for it and so am I!!!

  19. # chapnasty says: October 14, 2009 7:02 AM
    “We’ve eliminated the exclusivity of it being an all-white man’s club,” Ross told Pedulla.
    Ummm, anyone who has a problem with Limbaugh needs to apply the same reasoning to this statement.
    C’mon, admit it. You flunked diversity training, didn’t you. On behalf of Conservatives everywhere – shut up !!!!!

  20. Ross is very mindful of not upsetting the Parcells apple cart! I think Ross is a very smart biz man and had prior conversations with the tuna with his plans for the team and Parcells laid down his rules with Ross respecting them.
    As for the show biz glitz on camera, Jlo/gloria and now fergie will look a whole lot cuter in those jersey shots dancing at breaks than the tuna and his scowl! Can’t wait to see how Fergie rocks the jersey!

  21. You heard of this because you watched Monday Night Football.
    It’s an effor that the whole NFL has been doing for a few years in heavy latin markets.
    ————-
    faulkn22 says:
    October 14, 2009 7:06 AM
    This is part of an all out effort by the Dolphins to get non white fans to come out to the stadium. They’ve been running bilingual commercials and I think I’ve heard something about hispanic pride month or something as well.
    I’ve heard all of this and I’m a Lions fan in Michigan, so they are certainly trying hard to advertise.

  22. All Fergie’s involvement does is give Jets coach Rex Ryan yet another excuse for why his team lost Monday night to the Dolphins.

  23. Maybe the Owner can send the celebs down to talk to the QB and other players during their game prep time.

  24. chapnasty, what the hell are you talking about? once again, you have a dumb ass comment….how is that even remotely close to the alleged quotes of limbaugh? seriously, you tell me how they are the same, because i dont understand your point…oh yeah, you dont have one..

  25. First, I have a huge problem with this anti-white sentiment I am seeing in this country, especially against people like Limbaugh and others in the conservative and republican based. People forget that Lincoln freed the slaves and he was the first republican president. Democrats and liberals use stuff like this to get votes and they really care less about the people. If they did then these health care and other policies would go into affect within a year and not 5-8 years down the road when a republican will likely own the white house and then have to take the blame if these policies won’t work.
    Second, I have ZERO problem with Fergie and these others owning part of the team to sell tickets because that is what NFL teams are suppose to do. The marketing strategy is brilliant. However, if I was Parcells I would make it perfectly clear that the first time any of these owners thought because they bought a small part of the team that they could or should have a say in personnel or operations that I would leave and take my staff with me. Having them as owners is one thing but letting them have a say in what goes on with football would be stupid. Fergie telling Parcells how to draft talent would be like Parcells telling her how to hit the high notes or make fans scream while on stage at games. Neither knows a thing about what the other one is doing and should have zero say in it.

  26. Let’s review the Miami sports scene. The Marlins seat about 4,000 per game, the Panthers are at 60% capacity, the Hurricanes fill about 1/3 of LandShark Stadium for non-marquis games, the Heat have tarped off sections, and the Dolphins have painted their stadium in carnival clown colors…I gotta get me some tickets to the next game, I hear Ted William’s head is a new limited partner.

  27. anybody else thinking the dolphins will have a fergie life size picture in the middle of the room, and tear a piece of clothing off her after every win; a la major league.

  28. Ralphie says:
    October 14, 2009 7:41 AM
    Fergie and the Peas can celebrate the new ownership by singing their #1 tune “Let’s get Retarded” at half-time. Come on now, sing along Miami fans “Let’s get retarded, let’s get retarded, let’s get retarded…”
    I’d pay to watch that. Think they could pull it off without lip sinking?

  29. Pudge Heffelfinger says:
    October 14, 2009 8:39 AM
    “According to the Census, 58.5 percent of (Miami-Dade county’s) 2.4 million residents speak Spanish — and half of those say they don’t speak English well. English-only speakers make up 27.2 percent of the county’s residents.”
    “in 2006, the Census Bureau estimates (the number of whites) was only 18.5 percent, and in 2015 it is forecast to be 14 percent. Hispanics now make up about 60 percent.”
    But is this going to increase interest in football? I thought the fortieth in Florida, besides growing old, was Baseball, Soccer and hoping the current kept pulling the rafts in to shore.

  30. Dude are you for real? “and the Dolphins have painted their stadium in carnival clown colors…” Miami’s colors Aqua, Orange and White and Navy blue, thats carnival colors? The inside of the stadium is all orange and the outside is concrete other then the up/down ramps were tarped in vinyl designed by world-renowned artist Romero Britto, he will be bringing Land Shark Stadium alive through his iconic art. So what the hell you talking about? Bitter Jets fan or something?

  31. “Ummm, anyone who has a problem with Limbaugh needs to apply the same reasoning to this statement. ”
    Even other conservatives want you to shut up. Stop whining already. I don’t care that Rush is a conservative. Plenty of conservatives aren’t tools. Rush is a tool.

  32. chapnasty – show me an NFL owner that isn’t a white person, and i’ll say it would THEN be ok to call Ross’ comment racist. it’s not racist if it’s the truth and inflammatory.
    the point is owners are 100% white.
    that is, until Ross came in and started turning the Dolphins into a circus.
    i have to admit, at first i was very against all this. i thought ross was turning the fins into a sideshow. But after watching it monday night, seeing all the pomp & circumstance, seeing all the celebrities rallying around the dolphins – i love it.
    admit it, if you saw a bunch of celebrities rooting for your team, you’d love that too. same thing for us. They should contact Johnny Depp. He’s a dolphins fan too, takes his daughters to games every chance he gets.

  33. Remember where Ross came from and what he’s about. Ross is the head of Related Management in NYC. Related specializes in high rent/high price luxury apartments and condos, primarily in Manhattan. I lived in a Ross building for 14 years. They are money factories when the economy is good. Lately, Ross has been taking a hit. Buildings that would have sold out in weeks, maybe even days, three years ago still have vacancies after being on the market for well over a year. Ross is a billionaire, so don’t shed any tears, but he’s lost a lot of money the last two years. “Vanity” ownerships puts some needed hard cash into his pockets. Plus, Ross was often courtside when the Knicks were watchable (it’s true, they actually were almost good in the 90s!). Courtside was littered with celebs in those days giving the Garden tons of free publicity and overshadowing the fact that the Bulls always kicked the Knicks a**. So, Ross is well aware that they are walking commercials to promote “come on down to the game and mingle with celebs!”. Of course, if you actually got near the celebs, you’ld get thrown out, but people like to pretend. This is all about marketing plain and simple. Ross is good at it. He knows his target audience and knows what pushes their buttons. This isn’t about diversity, he just likes to make lots and lots of money and he learned in NYC that all kinds of different people have lots of money. He will take your money no matter your color, your religion, your politics, and/or your sexual preferences. The devil himself could have a penthouse apartment and/or tickets on the fifty yard line if he has the cash, a perfect credit rating, and references. But he won’t really know what hell is until he misses a payment and the army of lawyers comes after him.

  34. yikes, didn’t realize ross was a knicks fan. that is taboo in south florida. how on earth could he possibly support the dolphins?

  35. People forget. Parcells has pretty much turned the team over to Ireland and Sporano. Let him go. Ireland can draft.
    Oh and “Football Fan”, Parcells can’t take shit with him if he walks. Everyone else is under contract, and even if Parcells walks, do you REALLY think Ireland and Sparano would want to go anywhere. These coaches are why Miami can win. It is an honor to live in Miami and Parcells has it made.
    THE WILDCAT BELONGS TO MIAMI, NOT PARCELLS. HE DIDN”T EVEN THINK OF IT.

  36. The Dolphins have historically had a hard time filling the seats at Landshark nee Dolphin Stadium nee Joe Robbie Stadium — even when they were their most successful. So for Ross to have transformed Dolphins games into the hot ticket in Miami is impressive. It has already paid dividends in terms of crowd noise, as the two prime time games this season have been louder than any Dolphin games since the Fins played in the venerable Orange Bowl.
    In short, this is a sound business and football strategy, and I don’t think Parcells is in the least bit threatened, particularly as Ross doesn’t fancy himself an X’s an O’s genius as the Jerry Joneses and Daniel Snyders of the NFL do.

  37. i guess its somehow the white man’s fault all the owners are white? get over it. there are plenty of ppl of all colors that have plenty of money to throw at a team and don’t. quit painting white ppl as the root of all evil.

  38. This is exactly the Rams strategy – sign well known celebrities that represent glitz and glammor to the local fan base. The Rush/St. Louis deal will soon be followed by an announcement of celebrity owners Burt Reynolds, Jeff Foxworthy, Jeff Gordon and the guy who invented Slim Jims.

  39. texasPHINSfan says: “yikes, didn’t realize ross was a knicks fan.”
    No one sane is a Knicks fan anymore. It’s too painful. Most of us decided we would rather burn our money than give another penny of it to Dolan. I loved MSG, but I can’t go in there anymore. In fairness, Ross was probably only there because at the time it was the thing to do. Although, Hubert Davis did live in the same building as me, which was Ross owned, so maybe Hubert was hooking Ross up with tickets. Always blew my mind that the guy did his own laundry in the building’s laundry room. Had to be the only guy in the NBA that did that.

  40. texasPHINSfan says:
    October 14, 2009 12:25 PM
    yikes, didn’t realize ross was a knicks fan. that is taboo in south florida. how on earth could he possibly support the dolphins?
    he grew up in south florida, so he’s always been a dolphin fan!

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