Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross did try to recruit rock star Jon Bon Jovi to join his ownership group even entertaining him along with Heat guard Dwyane Wade in his suite at the Dolphins playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens in January.
But according to the SportsBusiness Journal, Bon Jovi’s demands were too rich. Bon Jovi, the trade publication reported last week, “insisted upon an exclusive arrangement during their talks late last year.”
That would have prevented Ross from adding the celebrities he’s enticed to join his ownership group this summer, including Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Marc Anthony, who was announced as a new minority owner today. Last month, Gloria Estefan and her producer husband Emilio Estefan agreed to buy a small stake in the team.
Ross forged a partnership with pop singer Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville enterprise in May that included re-naming the team’s stadium after Buffett’s Land Shark Lager for this season. Buffett has an option to purchase a stake in the team, but so far has not become a minority owner.
There are likely to be a few other names to come, Ross said today in a conference call from New York, where he and Anthony had announced their partnership. The pair were joined by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and ESPN President George Bodenheimer at a press conference at New York’s Time Warner Center, the Columbus Circle condo-retail complex built by Ross’ Related Cos. Enjoy this description of the event from The New York Times' Fifth Down Blog.
Ross said he always planned to add investors to his ownership group, but wants those partners to reflect the South Florida community. Adding the Estefans and Anthony, who is married to singer-actress Jennifer Lopez, help add to the Latin flavor of the ownership group.
“The Miami Dolphins want to really represent the community itself,” Ross said. “Having Marc and Emilio and Gloria is important for showing this community, this team is about them. They are great representatives of the Latin community.
“There will be a few more people who will join them,” Ross added.
Goodell and Bodenheimer attended the press conference to announce the league and network’s involvement in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. They will hold a series of special events around the Dolphins-New York Jets Monday Night game on Oct. 12 at Land Shark Stadium.
That night, ESPN, which is broadcasting the game, will debut a special version of Hank Williams Jr.’s “Are You Ready for Some Football” video featuring Gloria Estefan – in a Dolphins jersey – and some lyrics in Spanish. Anthony, meanwhile, will perform the National Anthem at the stadium.
As for Anthony’s additional involvement in the team, he and Ross said it’s too early to say, but they’ve already been discussing ideas. Ross said Anthony was brought in for his ideas, not just to perform.
“This is a business investment. To bring his ideas, his creativity,” Ross said stressing that Anthony is writing a check for his investment, although the amount was not disclosed.
Anthony, who has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide, said he can’t wait to get started.
“The most important thing now is Steve is open, he’s a great listener and a great visionary,” Anthony said. “I want to fly to Miami right now and sit at my desk.”