Usher, 26, is now part-owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Are you allowed to be part-owner of a major league sports franchise at 26? Of course the majority owner, Quicken Loan magnate Dan Gilbert, is only 42. I choose to see myself as a late bloomer, although it remains possible I will never even be a part-owner of a major league sports franchise.
Gilbert, Usher and partner David Katzman took over the Cavs yesterday from Gordon Gund.
Cavs beat writer Branson Wright tells the tale:
- Minutes into the presentation, as a highlight video pumped “Yeah,” one of the Grammy Award-winning Usher’s R&B hits, it became clear that the Cavaliers’ world had changed.
….The Cavs have become chic.
While Gilbert will be the majority owner, Usher will devote time to entertainment aspects, which will include involvement in Gund Arena concerts.
“I want to thank my team for this opportunity to come in and give my bit of entertainment expertise,” said the 26-year-old Usher. “Turn this thing up a notch. I just hope to make the experience at Cavaliers games one to remember for a lifetime.”
Usher’s partnership with Gilbert is not unique. He joins a growing list of musical artists to buy portions of NBA teams. Jay- Z has a share of the New Jersey Nets and Nelly has a portion of the Charlotte Bobcats.
“You go to the All-Star Game and see Puffy and Nelly and Jay-Z in the front row,” said Cavaliers star LeBron James. “You go to a concert and see myself on stage and a lot of basketball or football players in the front row. There’s a connection.”
….Katzman said Usher did not invest to just sit courtside. “Usher is a very significant owner,” said Katzman, the vice chairman of Quicken Loans. “He wants to get very involved and incorporate this into his entire business portfolio.”
James is eager to see what happens. “To have an icon in the music world come here and be a part of that is going to help us a lot. . . . Him being a part of this organization, I’m going to sit down and talk to him and just brainstorm.” [Cleveland.com]
There does seem to be a symbiosis here, with the team on the rise behind 20 year-old superstar James, and now new, young — very young — ownership talking the talk about taking the team to the next level: “Contrary to some of the things that you read – that all of the fun has to be in California or New York, [other locations] can’t have championships or long-term players, or maybe even really exciting entertainers. We’re here today to tell you that’s not true,” Gilbert told Branson.
Young, energetic and successful – that has a nice ring to it.