Spurs add Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia as minority shareholder
Spurs added a sole minority shareholder on Tuesday: Airbnb co-founder and billionaire Joe Gebbia.
Gebbia tells Athleticism that he has a new strategic partnership role with Spurs, joining billionaire Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Technologies, and San Francisco-based investment firm Sixth Street as new investors in Spurs. This continues a further rebuilding of the organization under Peter J. Holt since he took over as Managing Partner in June. Spurs have seen a new group of minority owners enter, representing a generational shift as Holt leads the next era of the franchise.
“I like to be in the presence of people who have dedicated their lives to something, to their job. And I remember thinking, one day, I want to be in the business NBA,” Gebbia said. Athleticism. “I want to be in the entrepreneurial NBA. I’m a big Spurs fan. Big fan of Coach Pop (Gregg Popovich), and the Spurs had a pretty remarkable run – five championships between 1999 and 2014, legends in a team like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, David Robinson, Tim Duncan.
After decades of consistency with little change to the team’s ownership group, Spurs have been gradually bringing in new blood just as a new $510 million mixed-use performance campus looms in San Antonio spanning 500,000 square feet.
Gebbia, 40, was born in Atlanta and raised as a basketball fan, even serving as a ball boy for the Hawks. He co-founded Airbnb (airbnb.com) in 2008 and last year launched Airbnb.org, a nonprofit that helps platform hosts house people in times of crisis. He also worked throughout the pandemic to find temporary housing for frontline workers as well as Afghan refugees seeking asylum in the United States in 2021.
Gebbia said he was drawn to Spurs for their philanthropic and social impact work over the years, and envisions a potential impact in San Antonio that harkens back to when he and Kevin Durant helped fund soccer fields. basketball and tennis in San Francisco in 2019.
“It’s kind of crazy to think that the 16-year-old would one day be an investor and part owner of an NBA team,” Gebbia said. “I mean, it was beyond my wildest childhood dreams.”
The Holt family has run the team for more than two decades, since its first purchase into the team in 1996. His father, Peter M. Holt, served as president for 20 years until his wife, Julianna Hawn Holt, take the three-year post. Peter J. Holt took over as Chairman and Co-CEO in 2019.
Spurs brought in a new group of investors last summer. Holt says several minority shareholders wanted to sell as they put their future plans in place. He saw it as an opportunity to attract new investors who “could help us take this incredible legacy and make it a living legacy.” Dell bought the franchise for 10%. Sixth Street took 20 percent. Thirteen previous Spurs investors sold shares to make room for the new partners. Each has brought new capital raises to Spurs and opportunities to modernize the franchise, while the Holt family remains the largest shareholder.
The changes also come as Spurs transition between eras on the pitch. San Antonio is past its two decades as a title contender and is building a talented new core around stalwarts Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Jakob Poeltl and newcomers Keldon Johnson, Josh Primo and Devin Vassell. Gregg Popovich remains in place as Hall of Fame coach and RC Buford as CEO while Brian Wright is in his third season as general manager to lead basketball operations. Spurs have long been renowned for their culture and it’s clear they want to maintain it.
“We’re a big focus on culture here in San Antonio and at Spurs, so it was pretty immediate that the beats lined up for us with Michael Dell, Sixth Street and Joe,” Peter J. Holt said.
The injection of new funds and new owners came almost simultaneously as Spurs began building their academy. The Spurs opened the 504,000 square foot mixed-use campus in November that will host their new facility as its centerpiece.
Gebbia is now on board an NBA franchise that has passed the league’s ownership verification process, and while he wants to learn within the Spurs organization, he plans to keep an open mind about his opportunities. ownership in the NBA.
(Photo: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)