November 20, 2019

NFL Prime Time? Bezos might buy football team


Photo of Jeff Bezos by Len Edgerly licensed (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It’s easy, from the cheap seats, to complain about the ways billionaires spend their money. But who can really say what they’d do, if they had more money than they knew what to do with? Of course you’d make (tax-deductible) donations to local charities, pitch in for some better supplies and equipment at your alma mater. (Could be a branding opportunity!) But you’d also very likely make some indulgent investments: the Hermès Apple Watch, a week in Zurich. Or, perhaps, a football team.

CBS Sports reports that Jeff Bezos has strong interest in purchasing an NFL franchise. Most articles about this development mention how chummy Bezos already is with league and team owners, but none that we’ve found go into any detail as to why he’d want to buy a team. Does the game have any sentimental appeal to Bezos? Did his Pee Wee years give him his first lessons in the values of teamwork and fair play? John Breech at CBS Sports gave a very simple explanation for his attendance at this year’s NFL Hall of Fame ceremony:

It turns out the world’s richest man was in Canton to support his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, who was in Canton to support [Hall of Fame inductee] Tony Gonzalez. Sanchez and Gonzalez have a history together that dates back nearly 20 years when the two were once seriously dating. Although the relationship between Sanchez and Gonzalez ended in the early 2000s, the two do have one child together, an 18-year-old name Nikko, who was also in attendance on Saturday (If Bezos and Sanchez get were to get married, that means Nikko’s dad would be Tony Gonzalez, his step dad would be Bezos, and he also has a famous godfather: Kevin Lockett, the father of Seahawks receiver, Tyler Lockett.)

See: very simple!

We would hate to suggest that he’s only interested because of the league’s profitability, so here are a few guesses as to why the Man-Who-Sells-Everything would want to add “Russell Wilson’s boss” to his CV:

Even though Bezos was just unseated from his title of World’s Richest Person by toilet tycoon Bill Gates, CNBC writes that the Amazon founder could still afford to buy every NFL team.

Remember the XFL, Vince McMahon’s football-wrestling hybrid, which lasted one season but is supposedly relaunching next year? Could Bezos be eyeing an opportunity to transform the league, which fans think, despite its many objectionable qualities, is “America’s Game,” into a combination of punting, passing, running, and… order fulfilling? No matter. As long as he stays away from a certain other sport, we’ll be on the sidelines, reading.



John Francisconi is the Direct Sales and Operations Manager at Melville House.