Wes Edens and his co-investors in the Milwaukee Bucks are doing things a bit differently than what is typical of the sports world, but it seems to be paying off brilliantly. Starting with a record-breaking initial purchase price of $550 million in 2014, the highest price ever paid for an NBA franchise, and continuing with other bold decisions, the Bucks are set on a winning streak both financially and in terms of basketball scores.
Wes Edens hails from the hedge fund world of New York and is a business entrepreneur. He and his partners in the Milwaukee Bucks took well to the business strategies necessary to change the team around in order to have it be a prosperous venture which warranted staying in the Milwaukee area. There was the business of constructing a new arena, restructuring multiple portions of the workforce in place, and strategic marketing to bring a new level of excitement to Milwaukee as a city about having and keeping their own NBA team.
The execution of the business items were put into action in a series of distinctly planned steps. Executive changes in the management of the actual basketball team, on the other hand, required a bit more of a trial and error approach. This led to growing pains while Wes Edens and his partners watched as the Bucks executed the league’s worst scoring in 2014-2015, then failed to make the playoffs the following year. The general manager of the Bucks as they entered the 2017 season was John Hammond; however, he transitioned to the Orlando Magic following musings that the Bucks did not see him as a long-term contender for the general manager position with their team. While the obvious choice for his replacement would have been advancing the current assistant general manager, Justin Zanik, the trend-setting group decided to make a bold choice and, following a lengthy search, selected Jon Horst. At only 34 years old, Horst became the youngest high-level executive in the league.
Wes Edens and all of the co-owners and investors in the Milwaukee Bucks are sure to feel a swell of pride when checking in at the five year mark of ownership. The NBA team is now estimated by Forbes to feature a net worth of $1.35 billion.
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