On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams speak with New York Yankees president Randy Levine about the business of the world’s most valuable sports team. Sportico recently valued the 27-time World Series champions at $7.01 billion, higher than any NFL, EPL or NBA franchise.
Levine, who has been with the team for 22 years, talks about how late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner hired him to grow not just the business of the team itself, but also ancillary opportunities in which the Yankees could be equity partners. Some of those moves have been high-profile partnerships—the Yankees have stakes in YES Network, the Pinstripe Bowl, Legends and NYCFC—while others have been under the radar. Levine mentioned a Korean LED company that the Yankees invested in when they used the lights to outfit their new stadium.
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Levine discusses the health of baseball coming out of the lockout, and some recent changes made to address the rules and pace of play. Many of MLB’s most valuable teams have taken investors from private equity firms, but the Yankees have not. Levine says explicitly that it’s not in the cards for the Yankees any time soon. The team hasn’t made capital calls during his tenure, he says, and has occasionally made distributions to its equity holders.
Lastly, Levine discusses the growth of franchise valuations across all sports, and which multibillion-dollar asset currently on the market he’d rather own: the Denver Broncos or Chelsea FC?