Rockets owner Les Alexander, a former bond trader, said last month he was selling the team amid a surge in franchise values across sports. The club’s popularity in China may push the sale price past the record $2 billion Steve Ballmer paid for the Los Angeles Clippers three years ago.
Alexander paid $85 million for the Rockets in 1993.
It’s common for celebrities to make small investments in sports teams. Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z, for instance, was born in Brooklyn and once held a less than 1 percent stake in basketball’s Nets. He sold his share of the team after starting Roc Nation, which represents athletes.
There are plenty of other examples: Pop star Justin Timberlake, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, owns a piece of basketball’s Grizzlies; tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, as well as Jennifer Lopez, are investors in football’s Miami Dolphins; and actor Will Ferrell has a stake in Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club.
The Rockets declined to comment. Beyonce’s publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The entertainer’s representatives at Sony Music Entertainment declined to comment. A spokeswoman for her husband, Jay-Z, also didn’t immediately respond.
Alexander’s decision to sell the team, which includes All-Stars James Harden and Chris Paul, surprised many around the NBA. It has generated a bevy of global interest among would-be buyers, sports bankers say.
Whoever winds up getting the Rockets might sell what are called limited partnerships, which help the principal investor to recoup some of their investment without giving up control of the franchise.
Beyonce, who has performed wearing a Rockets jersey, would add superstar sizzle to any ownership group, likely helping the team with local and international marketing.
She is one of the most influential celebrities, and on par with soccer star Lionel Messi, according to the Marketing Arm’s Celebrity DBI database. She ranks 150th out of more than 4,000 celebrities, and is particularly effective reaching females between the ages of 13 and 17.
According to Forbes, Beyonce is second to Sean “Diddy” Combs on its 2017 list of highest-paid celebrities at $105 million. Her net worth is $350 million, Forbes said. Jay-Z is worth $810 million.