They’ll probably start serving Skittles at hockey games in Seattle soon.
That’s because Marshawn Lynch, the wisecracking, Skittle-loving former NFL running back is now among the owners of the National Hockey League’s Seattle Kraken franchise. Financial terms of his ownership weren’t disclosed but a source close to the deal said that Lynch invested “a significant amount”. The Kraken, the NHL’s 32nd franchise, cost $650 million in expansion fees when the franchise was first awarded in 2018, according to Forbes, which places the team’s current value at $875 million.
The team’s principal owner is David Bonderman, the 79-year-old founder and chairman of asset management firm TPG Capital. Bonderman last month named his daughter, Samantha Holloway, as chair of the executive committee of Seattle Hockey Partners, the holding entity for the team. In addition to Lynch, the Kraken also announced on Monday that Seattle rapper Macklemore, who won the 2014 best rap album Grammy, had become a minority owner of the team.
Lynch, 35, posted a video on Instagram of himself in a Kraken jersey wearing number 24–the number he wore for most of his NFL career–and the word “OWNER” on the back and driving a Zamboni machine on the team’s home ice.
He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2007 and played most of his NFL career as a bruising running back for the Seattle Seahawks between 2010 and 2015. He retired in the 2016 season, returning to play 22 more games for the Oakland Raiders over the next two seasons, retiring as a Seahawk in 2019.
He ended his career with one Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks and 10,413 yards rushing. SporTrac, which tracks athletes’ contracts, puts his career NFL earnings at nearly $56.8 million.
Lynch joins a small number of Black limited partners in NHL teams. Tech billionaire David L. Steward has a piece of the St. Louis Blues. BET co-founder Sheila Johnson and Earl Stafford, CEO of venture capital firm the Wentworth Group have stakes in the Washington Capitals. Producer James Lassiter, along with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, have ownership in the New Jersey Devils.