On April 16th, hours before Dolphins owner Stephen Ross declined to answer a direct question from me regarding the possible inclusion of Jimmy Buffett and Emilio Estefan in his team's plans for 2009, I posted a blog item that included the following sentence:
"Singer Jimmy Buffett, a Key West resident, and Miami Sound Machine founder Emilio Estefan are among the entertainment people Ross has discussed including in his ownership group."
Today we know that Ross has indeed invited Buffett to join the Dolphins as a minority stakes owner and, although no concrete deal has come of that invitation, the men have forged a relationship that includes a temporary naming rights deal for Land Shark Stadium.
And on Thursday morning Ross is expected to announce Estefan and his wife, Gloria Estefan -- founding members of Miami Sound Machine and respected music moguls -- are joining the team, so to speak, as minority stake owners.
So what's the point of this aside from me tooting my own horn? To give you perspective for what now follows.
Ross continues to search for more so-called stars that might join his group and might add to the diverse nature of the Dolphins' appeal to fans. Ross has also reached out to musician and member of the songwriter Hall of Fame John Francis Bongiovi Jr, more commonly known to fans of rock music as Jon Bon Jovi.
Aside from having sold 120 million albums worldwide, Bon Jovi is known for his love of football. He is owner of an Arena League team in Philadelphia and is quite friendly with New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Ross has not been able to convince Bon Jovi to invest in the Dolphins, according to a source. But that can always change and one shouldn't discount Ross continuing his efforts. Also do not be surprised when, not if, Ross finds a black partner to join his ownership group.
I'm told Ross has reached out to at least one "rap artist of considerable wealth," as he's trying to round out the diverse nature of his group and team's appeal. It also wouldn't surprise if Ross approaches some black former athlete such as Alonzo Mourning about buying a stake in the Dolphins.
South Florida is a melting pot consisting primarily of Anglo, Hispanic, and black non-Hispanic people. Dolphins fans may all bleed aqua and orange, but their faces span the rainbow of colors and their ethnicities, religions and backgrounds cover much of the spectrum of humanity.
[Update: At the press conference that ended around 11:05 a.m., Ross said, "I want to bring ownership to this team that represents the community."]
And today's expected announcement with the Estefans is, in part, just one step in that attempt.
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