The number of Black investors in professional sports teams is slowly but surely growing.
According to a press release shared with AfroTech, Earth, Wind & Fire founding member Verdine White and Washington Nationals minority owner Paxton Baker now have a minority ownership stake in Major League Rugby Team Old Glory DC alongside investment manager Pablo Calderini.
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“Washington has always been an important market for Earth, Wind & Fire,” said White. “We have always sold out in the Washington, D.C., market at every point of our career. It’s a pleasure to invest in a community that has supported us with such great enthusiasm over so many years.”
Baker, who has an extensive portfolio in entertainment as the previous President of BET Event Productions and General Manager of Centric and BET Digital Networks, has a background of throwing some of the hottest award shows, festivals, and concerts across the globe.
Baker also owns part of the Washington Kastles and the Washington Spirit, the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League champion.
Collectively, he has a championship ring for all three of the Washington teams that he has an ownership stake in.
Old Glory DC was formed in 2018 by rugby players Chris Dunlavey and Paul Sheehy. Not only are they business leaders and heavy hitters in the space, but the two are natives of the nation’s capital who have been on a mission to expand the sport through various avenues like entertainment.
“Since our founding, Old Glory has been looking for opportunities to broaden our ownership group with partners who bring not only capital but real strategic value to our group,” said Dunlavey, who serves as chairman of Old Glory. “At this point in our development, we could hardly do better than to include partners of this stature from the fields of sports, entertainment, and finance.”