The NFL is the world’s most lucrative sports league. Other sports, like soccer and cricket, have larger global followings. Meanwhile, tennis and golf both include massive prize purses for the top competitors. Even so, there’s no sporting organization that pulls in a comparable amount of revenue as the NFL.
The league is unique because it combines business with equitable sports. Unlike other popular leagues, the NFL equally splits its revenue amongst each team regardless of performance. For context, the NFL currently has a broadcasting contract worth around $110 billion, which is split equally between all 32 teams, no matter their records.
Aside from its revenue-sharing model, the NFL also lets teams with the worst records have top selections in each year’s draft. This ensures top talent from the NCAA is split fairly amongst teams to foster an equal playing field. This creates tight competition—in fact, Super Bowl promos are available year-round for those who think they can pick next year’s champion.
The wager is popular because the NFL sees a revolving door of underdogs, dark horses, and last-minute favorites. It makes selecting a winner before the season starts a challenge, as odds shift up until Sunday Funday. But behind the scenes, franchise managers, coaches, and executives are pulling out all the stops to ensure a win.
And with the NFL’s revenue-sharing model and draft pick assignments leveling the playing field, having a billionaire behind the scenes can go a long way in affecting a team’s roster and level of competition. At least, in theory. Keep reading for the NFL’s wealthiest franchise owners and the teams they lead.
David Tepper, Carolina Panthers
Net worth $15.8 billion
David Tepper is a hedge fund manager with a keen liking for sports. Originally, he purchased a minor stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2009. In 2018, he bought out Jerry Richardson (founder and owner of the Panthers) for $2.2 billion. This marks the highest price tag of any NFL team ever sold.
Tepper is committed to keeping the Panthers in North Carolina. In fact, he also purchased the local Charlotte FC MLS team in 2019. Tepper also set the record for highest MLS bid, in which he paid around $325 million to set up the expansion team.
Stanley Kroenke, LA Rams
Net worth $10.7 billion
Stanley Kroenke owns Koenke Sports & Entertainment, which owns the LA Rams, Arsenal FC (Premier League), Denver Nuggets (NBA), and Colorado Avalanche (NHL). Though the Rams took home a Lombardi Trophy in February 2022, Kroenke isn’t often hailed by sports fans.
In addition to moving the Rams from Saint Louis to Los Angeles in 2016, which was criticized for the billionaire’s callous remarks about Missouri, Kroenke has been disparaged by Premier League fans. Kroenke was one of twelve owners who pushed for a European Super League for soccer, which was seen as a shameless cash grab by many Arsenal fans.
Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys
Net worth $10.6 billion
Jerry Jones isn’t just the owner of the Cowboys, but also the team’s long-term president and general manager. While the Dallas Cowboys haven’t taken home a Super Bowl title in over a decade, Jones has turned the team into the league’s most profitable.
In fact, the Cowboys are the world’s most lucrative sports franchise. Jones has his famous ‘Jerry World’ to thank. The AT&T Stadium is one of the world’s most advanced locations, which is also used for concerts and other huge events.
Shahid Khan, Jacksonville Jaguars
Net worth $7.6 billion
Few names have been as influential in US sports as Shahid Khan. The small businessman turned billionaire has varied interests, much like Kroenke. Unlike his colleague, Khan is a favorite amongst Jacksonville Jaguars fans. Though the team hasn’t seen a winning record in years, Khan has created a quality fan experience by optimizing the stadium, much like Jones.
Aside from his work with the Jaguars expansion team, Khan also owns Fulham FC (EFL Championship) and helped found All Elite Wrestling or AEW. AEW, co-owned by Khan’s son, is one of the biggest professional wrestling companies to challenge the WWE’s hold on the industry in recent years.