Peyton Manning becomes minority owner of NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies
No, he isn’t joining the NBA as a professional but rather as a majority stakeholder in a league team. A source familiar with the deal disclosed on the assurance of anonymity that the Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and his wife, Ashley, became minority stakeholders in Memphis Grizzlies’ new ownership group on Thursday.
No official statement has been released by the Memphis Grizzlies yet, probably due to prospective majority stakeholder and owner of California tech company Robert J. Pera's purchase of the franchise, which is still pending official approval from the NBA.
Memphis Grizzlies soon to be former majority owner Michael Heisley struck up a $350 million deal for the franchise with Robert J. Pera in June. Since, Michael Heisley claims Robert J. Pera has already deposited a sort of goodwill down payment in an account, but deal still requires the NBA approval, which will be discussed in a league meeting this month.
NBA Board of Governors are expected to gather for a meeting in New York during 24th and 25th October.
The former Apple Engineer, Robert J. Pera who parted with the tech mega-giant in 2005 to start Ubiquiti Networks, has been establishing his own minority stakeholders’ partnership including AutoZone founder J.R. "Pit" Hyde as well as and financier Staley Cates. Both J.R. "Pit" Hyde and Staley Cates are local investors, who were minority stakeholders in Memphis Grizzlies during Michael Heisley’s ownership.
Robert J. Pera’s Ubiquiti Networks cater to WiFi networking needs.
Apart from involving local businessman Robert J. Pera has also been targeting celebrities and other social standouts as minority stakeholders in the venture. In September, pop singer Justin Timberlake, who was born in Memphis, officially joined the Memphis Grizzlies minority stakeholders group. And now Peyton Manning’s name is being included in the venture.
In reality, Ashley Peyton’s name is written on the stakeholder’s deeds, but it is being called a family endeavor so Peyton Manning is being naturally associated to it.
Ashley Peyton is a Memphis born and bred, and even got hitched with Peyton Manning in the metropolis during 2001. Peyton played college football at the University of Tennessee, and still maintains strong ties to the state.
Meanwhile, former NBA player Penny Hardaway, a Memphis native, has also reportedly invested a minority stake in the Memphis Grizzlies. Penny Hardaway played college basketball at Memphis State.
Guard Mike Conley claimed on Tuesday the ownership transition hasn’t yet proven a distraction to the Memphis Grizzlies player’s preparation for the start of the new season.
"We've heard a lot of good things about him, and his intentions are all good," stated Mike Conley. "I know the city of Memphis should be excited. As a team, we are excited.”
“It’s going to be a different expectation for us,” acknowledged Mike Conley, “(but) we're just looking forward to taking it on."
The Memphis Grizzlies play their regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on 31st October.