For Mellody Hobson, it’s always been about breaking financial barriers. With her latest move, the Ariel Investments co-CEO is proving she’s continuing to blaze that trail.
It was recently announced that a group headed by Walmart heir Rob Walton is planning to buy the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion.
With Walton as the majority owner and his family members as minority owners, it was interesting news that Hobson was planning to join the ownership group. Black prospective buyers have largely been unsuccesful in gaining any real ownership in NFL teams.
“Seven out of 10 players in the league are Black. Just three of 32 coaches are Black or bi-racial. There has never been a Black owner in the NFL,” the Star-Gazette pointed out in a February 2022 article.
At only 53-years-old, Hobson has amassed an impressive resume that includes her chairmanship with JP Morgan and Starbucks, and a portfolio of smart investments.
“Beyond her role at Ariel, Mellody is an influential leader in corporate and civic organizations across the nation,” Rob Walton said in a press release shared by USA Today.
“Mellody currently serves as Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation and is also a director of JPMorgan Chase. We know she will bring her strategic acumen and leadership perspective to our team.”
It was announced by Roger Goodell back in February that the team was up for sale, and they were looking for a diverse ownership group to take over.
It was previously reported that big names like former Denver Broncos Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks John Elway & Peyton Manning, Jay-Z and Jeff Bezos were potential buyers.
The Denver Broncos franchise first came about in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League. The original owner was minor league baseball owner Bob Howsam and it was later sold to George Phipps, a construction businessman.
The team, just like the NFL organization at large, was mostly owned by white men, so Hobson’s entry into potential ownership is historical.
Hobson is a prolific proponent of financial literacy in underrepresented communities and beyond. She previously served as Chairman of the Board of DreamWorks Animation and was also a veteran board member of the Estée Lauder Companies. In 2015, Time Magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People” in the world.