Indonesian media mogul Erick Tohir was officially named one of the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, following the approval of the US National Basketball Association’s board of directors.
Although a slew of Asian businessmen have bought into English League clubs recently, including Malsysians Tan Sri Dato Sri Dr Tony Fernandes of Malaysia (Queens Park Rangers) and Dato’ Vincent Tan (Cardiff City Football Club) and Carson Yeung of Hong Kong (Birmingham City Football Club), Erick owns the distinction of being the first Asian owner of an NBA team.
Erick, the founder and owner of Mahaka Media, is also the current president of the South East Asian Basketball Association (SEABA). His most recent acquisition may foreshadow more involvement of NBA teams in the region.
Among the lengthy list of the Sixers’ new owners and investors are co-managing owner David Blitzer, former NBA player agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien, GSI Commerce CEO Michael Rubin, real estate investors, film producers, and Hollywood power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. — JP