NBA teams do not change their owner that often, but with 30 teams in the league it seem like there is a news story about ownership every year. This year, the change in ownership of the Atlanta Hawks made headlines.
Bruce Levenson sold the Atlanta Hawks to Antony Ressler for $850 milion. The actual sale happened last season during the playoffs. While not the best time for a change in ownership, the team remained strong and played well. This led to a record attendance in the Philips Arena, where the Hawks play their games. While in the past few years attendance was one of the biggest issues for the franchise the 2014/2015 saw attendance averaging 17,412 per game. From a business point of view, timing was perfect. When Levenson came to the Hawks, they a team that struggled to make it to the playoff and had a lot of problems with attendance. Choosing to sell the team when it was at its high point, meant a higher price and therefore more profit for Levenson.
Forbes valued the Hawks at 425 million dollars last year, but the sales of the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers changed the marke. Furthermore with the NBA landing lucrative television rights deal the clubs became more valuable making Bruce a very rich man earning him and his partners a few hundred million dollars.
Levenson was born in Washington and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Washington University and a law degree from American University in Washington, DC. Currently Levenson works at United Communications Group, where he is the co-founder and partner. He has been a part of the company for over 27 years and still continues to play a major role in the company’s acquisitions efforts. Alongside his business dealings it is important to mention his involvement with many community organizations, some of which include The Hoop Dreams Foundation and the Community Foundation of Washington. Furthermore Levenson is a founding donor to the U.S. Holocaust museum. Being that he comes from a jewish family, he does a lot to help out the jewish community. He made large donations to the SEED Foundation and Seeds of Peace, and has supported various jewish causes like the Birthright Israel, the Jewish-American movement, the Jewish Federation and many others. Many times, businessmen are seen only through the profit they make, and not how much they give back to the community. This is why it is very important to commend Levenson for his efforts.
With the new season just starting it will be very exciting to see how to Hawks adopt the new ownership and if it will reflect the team’s performance this year. Bruce Levenson left a very capable team, with great results last season. It would be great to see another record breaking season for the Hawks. Don’t miss out on their games and if you are a Hawks fan, make sure you attend the games at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta to support your team.