Found July 27, 2012 on
Waiting For Next Year:
Corporate photo of Jimmy Haslam from Steelers.com
First of all, let’s just get all the freak outs out of the way. Change is scary. Uncertainty! Screaming! Crying?
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to business, bullet point style.
[Related: Read Randy Lerner's statement from this morning right here.]
- Jimmy Haslam is the 55 year-old CEO of Pilot Travel Centers. He is the son of an 81-year-old Jim Haslam II. Randy Lerner’s statement mentions Jimmy so we’re talking about the 55-year-old and not the 81-year-old.
- So he’s the son of a billionaire. Haven’t we been down this road before? Maybe. Maybe not. Haslam has been the CEO of the company since 2001 and the company has grown since that time. This is not a shot at Randy Lerner. Just pointing out he’s been running a privately held corporation that has a reported 13,000+ employees today.
- Jimmy Haslam is an investor with the Steelers. <a href="http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/2012/07/so-jimmy-haslam-could-invest-in-the-browns/#footnote_0_67001" id="identifier_0_67001" class="footnote-link footnote-identifier-link" title=""OMG! The Steelers are the Browns' biggest rival! I'm so scared. Hold my hand!" I thought we were getting this out of our system.">1 While that may be disconcerting to some at first, let’s look at what he told Steelers.com that impressed him enough that he wanted to invest in the team. “I was immediately impressed with Art and Dan Rooney’s business acumen and conservative philosophy.” Translation: I don’t want to emulate Dan Snyder or Jerry Jones.
- Also from that same interview, Haslam says he grew up a Cowboys fan and then became a Colts fan. Presumably the Colts thing is because he is a huge supporter of Tennessee, so naturally he wanted to follow Peyton Manning’s career. Hard to argue with that. Obviously after investing with the Steelers, he became a Steelers fan.
- If he buys the Browns or a majority stake in the Browns, trust me when I tell you he’ll be a Browns fan. I am quite sure that if he buys a stake in the Browns, he’ll have to divest any stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers. When and if he does that, he’ll become a Browns fan. If you are a huge fan of McDonald’s and their happy meals as a kid and then have a chance to buy four Burger Kings, guess who won’t be all that tied to Big Macs any longer?
- For once, I’m really happy that I got to visit Steelers.com because it caused me to look at this. You can get married at a Steelers game. We’ve always joked that cheesy Steelers fans will even wear their stupid jerseys to church. Thanks for breaking the stereotype yinzers.
- The Browns just switched presidents and GMs and coaches. I’ll admit that I am wary of an ownership change because I’d hate to start over with a new front office and everything. It’s way too early to worry about those kinds of things. The team hasn’t even been sold yet, so worrying about Mike Holmgren’s replacement or someone cleaning house is premature.
- What’s the price tag going to be? Forbes will claim that the Browns are the 20th most valuable sports franchise in the world and are worth $977 million. The Browns were originally sold to Al Lerner in 1998 for $530 million. Who knows? I would guess the team’s value will be north of a billion for valuation purposes when they determine what percentage Haslam might buy in.
- There’s just too much variability right now to know for sure. Is Randy Lerner going to sell it? Is he going to retain a percentage of the team? Is he going to retain enough to remain the majority owner?
- Obviously Haslam already has a minority stake in a decidedly better football franchise to date. I can’t imagine he would bother doing anything at all with another NFL franchise unless it was for a controlling stake so he could buy his way into the game instead of being silent on the sidelines.
- That’s just a figure of speech though. Buying his way into the game doesn’t mean he won’t just be like the Rooney’s and run the team with respect and dignity while also forcing the top-down culture.
That last part’s what you have to hope for. Randy Lerner hasn’t been successful doing things his way. That being the case I fully accepted him “outsourcing” himself in some respects by hiring Mike Holmgren. Recognizing a need and trying to fill it from outside the organization is acceptable business. Still, there’s no way to say that that is preferable to an owner who has the ability to truly lead by example and create a culture of accountability, professionalism and success.
If this team does sell and Jimmy Haslam becomes the guy who is recognized as the owner of this franchise, I hope beyond hope that he quickly becomes the kind of owner that other cities envy as the Browns are succeeding on the field with class and dignity.
- “OMG! The Steelers are the Browns’ biggest rival! I’m so scared. Hold my hand!” I thought we were getting this out of our system.
BEST OF MAXIM
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Browns president Mike Holmgren admitted that owner Randy Lerner is giving up his majority ownership of the team.
“Cleveland browns aren’t going anywhere. They’re going to stay,” said Holmgren, per Cabot.
Lerner is expected to sell the Browns to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam, who currently has...
A minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers is in talks to purchase the Cleveland Browns.
Browns owner Randy Lerner dropped the bombshell Friday morning that he is in discussions with Jimmy Haslam to make an investment in the Browns. Haslam is a minority owner of the Steelers, and the Steelers acknowledged the discussions but had no further comment.
Lerner did not say it directly...
Randy Lerner’s father, Al Lerner, bought the Browns for $530 million in 1998. After a decade of losing, Randy was looking to sell the Brownies for a price upward of $1 billion (sweet gig, being a sports owner, eh?). While it looks like Lerner’s billion dollar asking price won’t be met, I’d imagine he’ll be okay with this outcome:
Randy Lerner is in the process of selling...
It’s been 10 years since credit card magnate Randy Lerner assumed control over the Cleveland Browns when his father, and then owner, the late Al Learner passed in 2002. Before the elder Lerner passed his son made a promise to him that he would keep the Cleveland Browns in the family. It’s been a tumultuous [...]
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Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner said Friday he is discussing a possible investment in the team by truck-stop magnate Jimmy Haslam.
''In connection with current rumors and press inquiries, I can report that I've been approached by Mr. Jimmy Haslam, who is interested in making an investment in the Cleveland Browns. We are currently in negotiations and both sides have...
In connection with current rumors and press inquiries, I can report that I’ve been approached by Mr. Jimmy Haslam, who is interested in making an investment in the Cleveland Browns. We are currently in negotiations and both sides have agreed to keep that dialogue and its details private. Given that any transaction would require League approval, care has been taken so that this...
According to sources, the Cleveland Browns are close to being sold to a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslem is said to be close to buying the team from Randy Lerner. The Steelers have confirmed the discussions but did not comment any further.
One of the contingents of the sale is that the team has to have "a complete and unconditional...
So Randy Lerner is selling the Browns. Why now? Pat McManamon and Zac Jackson of FoxSportsOhio.com have some answers.
Forbes magazine reported this weekend that the Cleveland Browns are being sold for $920 million dollars. Current owner Randy Lerner is selling the team to a group headed by James Haslam, a current minority owner in the Pittsburgh Steelers. Forbes had placed a value of $977 million on the Browns organization last summer and Lerner reportedly had been asking between $1 to 1.1 billion...
Howard Eskin of NBC 10 in Philadelphia (by way of Pro Football Talk) is reporting that Joe Banner will likely be part of the Haslam group that is negotiating with Randy Lerner to buy the Browns.
Banner was most recently the president of the Philadelphia Eagles. He was replaced in the role, but remained a “strategic advisor” to Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie.
Banner spoke to Pro...
With the news that Randy Lerner is close to selling his share of the Browns to Jimmy Haslam III, I’ve started to think about this current era of Cleveland sports owners. For better or worse, the men who own our favorite sports teams often come up as a topic for debate in our sports obsessed town.
Was this always the case? Sure, Art Modell was always a target (that’s what you...
This story is taking the city of Cleveland by storm , and the Steeler Nation is following this now as well. According to an article published today, Randy Lerner, owner of the Cleveland Browns is in talks with Steelers minority owner James Haslam about the future of the team.
One has to wonder what the Rooney’s think of this, although you’d have to assume that it’s been...
Either Plato is being put to the ultimate test here, or there’s something worse than a Modell-Conspirator. Either way, now would be just about the time for an oilman to join the ranks of Cleveland sports ownership.
Additionally, James Haslam III (“Jimmy”), with whom Randy Lerner is currently in private negotiations regarding an “investment” in the Browns currently owns...