Fenway Sports Group: Stock & Net Worth to Increase With Possible Penguins Purchase?

Last Updated: Nov 23rd 2021   Published: Nov 23rd 2021   6 Min Read
Fenway Sports Group: Stock & Net Worth to Increase With Possible Penguins Purchase?
Image © James Carey Lauder / USA TODAY Sports

Fenway Sports Group is one of the most profitable sports management and ownership companies in the U.S. 

The company already owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C., and now it’s in preliminary talks to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Will Fenway Sports Group’s stock valuation rise with this purchase? And what are its plans for helping the team make it to their first playoff series in three years?

History of Fenway Sports Group

Fenway Sports Group was founded in 2001 when investors got together (including majority and minority stakeholders John W. Henry, Tom Werner, Les Otten, and The New York Times Company) to purchase the Boston Red Sox. The shareholders changed the holding company’s name to New England Sports Ventures (NESV).

In 2011, NESV’s name was formally changed to Fenway Sports Group. 

Before 2001, the Red Sox was owned by Jean R. Yawkey Trust. If you recognize that name, it’s because it bears the same name as Yawkey Way, the street Fenway Park sits on. Jean R. Yawkey was the wife of Tom Yawkey, sole owner of the Red Sox from 1933 until his death in 1976 — when Jean became the majority owner and general partner.

Fenway Sports Group Stock Values

Fenway Sports Group (and the teams it owns) are not publicly traded. 

In early 2021, Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC owner John Henry tried to take the company public, but the deal fell through. 

Not all major sports teams are publicly traded. Here are the teams you can trade shares of on the stock exchange:

  • Green Bay Packers Inc.
  • Liberty Media (Atlanta Braves)
  • Madison Square Garden Sports Corp (NY Knicks, NY Rangers, Hartford Wolf Pack)
  • Manchester United 
  • Rogers Communications (The Braves, Toronto Blue Jays)

Fenway Sports Group Net Worth

Forbes estimates Fenway Sports Group’s net worth to be 6.6 billion

Who owns Fenway Sports Group?

Fenway sports group is owned by several entities. Originally New England Sports Ventures, the company was purchased in 2001 by John W. Henry, Tom Werner, Les Otten, and The New York Times Company (yes, we were surprised the New York Times was a major shareholder of Boston teams with oodles of hometown pride, too!).  

John W. Henry 

John W. Henry is the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club; he is also the co-owner of RFK Racing. 

John W. Henry’s story is a true rags-to-riches one. Henry grew up in Quincy, Illinois, where his parents were soybean farmers. The family moved to Apple Valley, CA, in 1964, and Henry attended The University of California.

In the 1970s, Henry began trading corn and soybean futures as an experiment in hedging the price risk of holding soybean inventory. He later developed a trend-following method for futures trading. 

In 1981, he founded John W. Henry & Company, managing commodity brokerage firms. 

Tom Werner

Tom Werner is chairman of Liverpool Football Club and the Boston Red Sox; he’s also a television producer.

Werner began his career in TV in 1973 with ABC. During his time at ABC, he helped develop iconic shows, including Bosom Buddies, Mork & Mindy, Soap, and Taxi. He also co-founded Oxygen (The O Network) with Oprah Winfrey and his partner Caryn Mandabach in 2000.

LeBron James

In May 2021, LeBron James became a partner in Fenway Sports Group (as well as the first black partner in the sports group’s history). Even before his interest in FSG, James was a minority owner of Liverpool F.C., the English football team that was then managed by FSG — and now owned by the group. 

Does The New York Times Company own Fenway Sports Group?

In 2001, when John W. Henry, John Werner, Les Otten, and other investors purchased the Red Sox and created New England Sports Ventures, The New York Times was also a majority shareholder.

The Times sold its final stake in Fenway Sports back in 2012 — not long after the company’s name change. 

Is Les Otten still a minority FSG shareholder?

In 2007, Less Otten sold his shares of FSG back to the ownership group, John W. Henry & Co. 

Fenway Sports Group Holdings

Fenway Sports Group doesn’t just own major sports teams, like the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool F.C., and ​​Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing. It has also owned several other holdings in the sports arena, including Fenway Sports Management, Fenway Sports, and the New England Sports Network (NESN). 

Fenway Sports Management

FSG also owns Fenway Sports Management, a global sports marketing firm. The group currently focuses on partnership sales and consulting. 

Clients include all of FSG’s holdings, so really FSM is more likely the in-house marketing group for the parent company. 

The group’s clients also include Dunkin’ Donuts (a Red Sox sponsor), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and others. 

Fenway Park

Of course, Fenway Sports Group owns Fenway Park! How could it not? 

Fenway Park, located at 4 Jersey Street (originally 4 Yawkey Way), is the home of the Boston Red Sox in Boston, MA. It is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium in use and one of the historic ballparks left standing in North America.

Other historic ballparks include Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, and Rogers Centre.

One of the jewel box stadiums, Fenway Park only has 37,731 seats (by comparison, Yankee Stadium has 54,251 seats). 

NESN

The New England Sports Network (lovingly also known as NESN), is a New England sports TV network that covers sports in New England (except for Fairfield County and Southbury, CT; both of which are in “Yankees Territory”!). 

The network primarily covers the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins. 

The majority owner of NESN is FSN (it owns 80%), and the majority owner is the Boston Bruins (another massive shock!). 

The network also covers New England minor league, regional, and college sports, including hockey and baseball. Boston Globe (also owned by FSN) sports columnists also make an appearance on sports talk shows on NESN.

Teams Owned by Fenway Sports Group

Fenway sports group owns several major and minor league sports teams, as well as international sports teams. Its portfolio includes the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool F.C., Salem Red Sox, and ​​Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.

Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox is the crowning joy of FSG — and the original team owned by the group. FSG has owned the Red Sox since 2001 when it purchased the team from Jean R. Yawkey Trust.

The Boston Red Sox was formed back in 1901 and hasn’t missed a season (games were missed in 1972 and 1981 because of Major Baseball League strikes). Originally called the Boston Americans, the team played at Huntington Avenue Grounds until 1912 when they moved to Fenway Park in Boston. 

The team is a part of the American League (AL) East division of the MLB. 

Liverpool FC

Liverpool F.C. is a Premier Football League in the U.K. 

The team has won 19 league titles, seven FA Cups, eight League Cups, and fifteen FA Community Shields. It’s one of the most famous football teams in the world. It was founded in 1892 and was originally called Everton Athletic. 

Its rival teams are Manchester United and Everton. 

Famous players have included Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard, and John Barnes.

In 2010, Fenway Sports Group purchased Liverpool, F.C. At the time of purchasing Liverpool, FSG was valued at $7.35 billion.  

Salem Red Sox

The Salem Red Sox is a Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The team is based in Salem, VA (not Salem, MA, a suburb of Boston, as one might expect!). 

It competes in the Low-A East league. 

The team has been affiliated with the Red Sox since 2009. Prior to that year, the team was called the Salem Avalanche, the Salem Buccaneers, and the Salem Redbirds. It has been affiliated with the Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Texas Rangers. 

Until 2006, the team was owned by TV executive and MLB scout Kelvin Bowles.

​​Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing

Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing (RFK Racing) is the fourth team under ownership by FSG — as the name obviously suggests.

The team is named after team founder and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Roush and part-owner Brad Keselowski.

Fenway Sports Group Close to Acquiring Pittsburgh Penguins 

Fenway Sports Group announced the company is in preliminary talks to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins just over a week ago, and the board approved the purchase around the same time.

Current co-owner Mario Lemieux is expected to hold a minority share in the team, while FSG will take over control of the Penguins. 

While the Penguins haven’t gotten to the playoffs for three years standing, it doesn’t mean the team doesn’t have what it takes to get there at some point. The team also notoriously filed for bankruptcy twice in 50 years. 

But with FSG’s financial backing, hopefully the Penguins will be able to move past their previous financial issues and finally make it back to the playoff series.