Sports stars, personalities and pro teams including Major League Soccer’s DC United, the basketball league started by rapper Ice Cube and the AAA affiliates of the Red Sox and Yankees are among the hundreds of sports-recipients of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans, according to federal data released Monday. The baseball, basketball and football halls of fame, as well as groups that organize many U.S. Olympic teams received loans as well.
Well known sports personalities also took loans for their business ventures. Boxing’s Floyd Mayweather, one of the world’s highest paid athletes, obtained a loan of at least $350,000 for his promotions arm. Similarly, quarterback Tom Brady, who has made more than $200 million in NFL salaries, got a loan for his TB12, which sells his branded apparel, sports supplements and operates two fitness clubs.
Super agent Scott Boras got three PPP loans totaling a minimum of $1.35 million, one each for his self-named agency, endorsement and memorabilia venture and his sport training company. Ever willing to wait for a deal, Boras’ loans were approved just three days before his lenders, Merchants Bank of Commerce, ceased accepting PPP applications.
The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration released information on nearly three quarters of a million PPP loans valued, each at more than $150,000. At least three MLS teams took multimillion dollar loans – the Orlando City Soccer Holdings LLC took a loan worth between $2 million and $5 million while DC Soccer LLC, a holding company of DC United, took a loan worth $1 million to $2 million, according to the data. Seattle’s MLS franchise, the Sounders, also took a loan worth $2 million to $5 million.
Two of the MLS clubs received their loans through Truist Bank. Big3, a pro basketball league formed three years ago by Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, received a loan of $1.6 million through C3 Bank. When the Big3 canceled its season in May, the league returned $700,000 of the money, Kwatinetz said.
A number of minor league baseball teams including affiliates of the Mets, Reds, Red Sox, Tigers and Yankees also received loans, as well as widely known independents like the St. Paul Saints and the Long Island Ducks. Organizers of the best-known marathons in the U.S., the Boston Athletic Club and New York Road Runners, also took loans.
Bank of America is the largest PPP lender to sports teams, according to Sportico’s analysis of the data, providing at least $5 million in financing to sports groups. Loans are forgivable under certain conditions set by the government, primarily paying employee wages over a set period of time.
Here is a partial list of sports recipients of loans:
(This story has been updated to show that the Big3 league returned $700,000 of its $1.6 million loan.)