Newer basketball fans may not know much about Magic Johnson, but one can argue that the NBA wouldn’t have been what it is today if not for him. Credit to Magic, he has become even more powerful and more affluent after his basketball career. It may be his charm and his gift of gab, but Magic has become a formidable businessman in his own right. How many businesses does Magic Johnson own? What is his net worth, and how did he become such a successful entrepreneur?
Who is Magic Johnson, and Why is He Famous?
Magic Johnson is an NBA icon whose team, the Los Angeles Lakers, dominated the league in the 80s. They won a total of five championships in the decade, while the other five were shared by archrival Boston Celtics (3), Philadelphia 76ers (1), and the Detroit Pistons.
If anything, Johnson was as good as he was unique. He was a 6-foot-9 point guard who could play multiple positions in a snap of a finger. Magic chose to attend Michigan State because it is closer to home, and Jud Heathcote, the coach, promised he could play point guard.
He became one of the best college basketball players in two years in East Lansing, ending in an NCAA championship trophy against Larry Bird’s Indiana State in 1978. As any old NBA fan knows, Bird and Magic is probably the greatest rivalry the NBA has ever seen.
In the NBA, Johnson’s star lit even brighter His legend took a mind on its own when in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals, Magic started at center for the injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. When asked if he played center before, he simply quipped: “Yeah, back in high school.”
Like a scene straight from a basketball movie, Johnson bagged Finals MVP honors after recording 42 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals while playing practically every position at different parts during the game. He was named the Finals MVP, the first rookie, and the youngest to have this honor.
After that, he won four more championships, three league MVPs, and countless battles with archrival and good friend Bird. Magic’s career ended abruptly after being diagnosed with HIV, but needless to say, that star has never dimmed, at least in the eyes of real NBA fans.
How Did Magic Johnson Become an Entrepreneur?
As mentioned, Magic Johnson’s life outside hoops is arguably more significant. He dabbled in real estate, franchises, and other ventures and came out on top. According to a quick search, the listed Magic Johnson net worth is north of $600 million. So, how did Magic Johnson, the basketball player, become Magic Johnson, the successful entrepreneur?
For one, Johnson thinks being a basketball player and the CEO of his own company are not much different.
“Basketball was about details and paying attention to the details,” says Johnson. “I’m a very detailed, organized guy as a CEO now. And competitive as hell, and I want to win for my partners, investors, for myself, and for the community.”
Johnson tested the business waters by investing in urban America. That included a partnership with Sony Pictures for Magic Johnson Theatres. He went on to become the only franchisee of Starbucks. Through the years, his portfolio included “team owner” as well, although he did sell a minority stake in the Los Angeles Lakers. That should hardly be missed, as Johnson also owned the Los Angeles Dodgers of the MLB, the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, and the Los Angeles FC of Major League soccer.
As Johnson himself said, the ‘magic sauce’ is surrounding himself with the right people. He empowers his management people to make decisions, and so far, it has paid handsome dividends.
Johnson also credits the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss who taught him the business ropes. When an opportunity is presented to him, Magic seldom goes with his gut but, instead, often chooses to look at the company’s track record, among others. And lastly, Johnson goes to great lengths to keep his business reputation intact.
“Word of mouth in our business is really important,” he says. “Your reputation is really important; your brand is really important.”
What Companies Does Magic Johnson Own?
Magic Johnson Enterprises, of which he is the founder and CEO, is an investment company that owns and invests in franchises and other business ventures. Here are some of Magic Johnson Enterprises’ products:
- Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB baseball team)
- Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA team)
- Los Angeles FC (Major League Soccer)
- Sodexo (French food service)
- G.I Friday’s (American restaurant chain)
- Burger King
- 24-Hour Fitness
- Multiple restaurants across the United States
- Numerous movie theatres and radio stations
Does Magic Johnson Own Starbucks?
Magic Johnson Enterprises once owned 100-plus Starbucks franchises in different locations. These stores were acquired from 1998 to 2010. He then sold all of these back to Starbucks for a reported $100 million. Therefore, right now, Magic has not affiliated with Starbucks anymore.
Does Magic Johnson Own an NBA Team?
Magic has close ties with the Lakers because of his NBA career. He also coached and became a VP in basketball operations for the franchise, not to mention his close friendship with Dr. Jerry Buss, the later owner, whom he calls his “mentor.” However, in October 2010, Magic sold his 4% stake with the Los Angeles Lakers to the tune of $27 million.
Unless he leads an ownership group to buy an ownership stake, the answer is no. Magic Johnson does not own an NBA team. However, he is the majority owner of the Dodgers’ baseball team, the Sparks WNBA team, and the Los Angeles FC.
13 Interesting Facts About Magic Johnson
The Lakers legend and NBA icon is always a winner, both on and off the court. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the man they call “Magic.”
1. Magic Johnson coached the Lakers at the tail end of the 1993-94 season and ended up with an abysmal 5-11 record. But only a few know that Magic played for the Purple and Gold a season before Shaq and Kobe got there. Old man Magic, who was 36 years old at the time, averaged nearly 15 points, six rebounds, and seven assists in 32 games. He logged almost 30 minutes a night.
2. Fred Stabley Jr. of the Lansing State Journal is the first to call him Magic. Who can blame the guy? Then a high school sophomore. Johnson just dropped 36 points, 18 rebounds, and 16 assists.
3. Magic is the youngest and the only rookie to be named Finals MVP. That’s after the aforementioned legendary performance in Game of the 1980 NBA Finals.
4. When he was young, Magic Johnson said he often went to the grocery store dribbling with one hand and returning home dribbling with the other.
5. Magic was recruited by the nation’s top college programs. Among these were UCLA, Maryland, Michigan, and Michigan State. He opted for the Spartans after the coach promised he could play point guard.
6. He was known as June Bug or Junior around his Lansing neighborhood.
7. A winner at all levels, Magic has become a part of nine NBA Finals series. His teams won five of them.
8. John Stockton may be the NBA’s all-time leader in assists, but Magic owns the record for the best career APG average with 11.2; Stockton’s is 10.5.
9. His dad Earvin, Sr., was an automobile worker, while his mom Christine was a school custodian.
10. Coincidentally, Magic’s debut season was also the season the three-point line was introduced in the NBA.
11. In 13 NBA seasons, Magic has been part of 12 All-Star teams.
12. It was already mentioned that Magic’s 1980 Finals Game 6 performance made him the youngest Finals MVP ever. The second youngest? Still Magic Johnson. He captured his second Finals MVP in 1982 at 22 years old, again versus the Sixers.
13. Magic Johnson Enterprises has an estimated $1 billion worth of holdings across various industries.
Wrapping Things Up: How Many Businesses Does Magic Johnson Own?
Magic Johnson has just about achieved everything a basketball player can dream of. He was an NBA champion five times, league MVP three times, perennial All-Star and All-NBA selectee, and a Hall of Famer. And as intense as a competitor as he was, he has a smile that can light up a room, or in this case, an arena.
If someone has the privilege of observing Magic even from afar, you can tell the guy has the tools to be successful in any field. Had he wanted to be a politician or a professor, he would have made it. Because of his connections with the late Dr. Jerry Buss, Magic got steered to business, and, to nobody’s surprise, he’s killing it. Over 20 years after his retirement, Magic Johnson founded a billion-dollar enterprise. The listed Magic Johnson net worth is north of $600 million.
So, how many businesses does Magic Johnson own? The answer is a lot! His investment company has holdings with several companies, such as Sodexo, TGI Fridays, and 24-Hour Fitness. Then, he owns several sports teams, such as the Dodgers, the Sparks, and the LA Football Club. On top of that, he owns movie theatres, and radio stations, while dabbling with real estate and similar ventures. These are just some of the companies Magic Johnson owns, and his enterprise is growing by the day as you’re reading this piece.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.