As a die-hard New York Mets fan, I was not surprised at all when Fred and Jeff Wilpon announced on Friday that they had to explore selling a minority ownership of the Mets. For the past two years, the Wilpon family has repeatedly denied losing money from Madoff; they have always seemed to skirt from the truth. This time around, the team is claiming that they will need to give back their profits to recover lost funds from other investors.
The Wilpons have always played second fiddle to the Steinbrenner family in New York. When someone thinks of the Steinbrenners, they think of power, devotion, winning, tradition and history. But what comes to mind when people think of the Wilpons? For me its bloated and overpaid rosters and a lack of discord between ownership and the fans.
The power of a team’s brand has a lot to do with its ownership. If the Yankees didn’t have the Steinbrenners, could the team have still won championships? Sure, but the team would not have its iconic stature. If the Patriots were not steered by Robert Kraft, the team would not be as forward thinking and inventive. If the Mavericks didn’t have Mark Cuban as their owner, they would probably have stayed irrelevant.
So the Mets have a big decision on their hands. Assuming the team sells a minority ownership (I would not be shocked if the Mets sold half the team if the right owner came along), it will be interesting who they bring on and what these new minds bring to the table. Owners do not need more than 50 percent to have power in a franchise; the Steinbrenners only own 33 percent of the Yankees and look what they have accomplished.
Here's a list of potential owners for the New York Mets and why they would be an interesting fit for the team…