Under the watchful eye of Jimmy Haslam, the Cleveland Browns have enjoyed little success on the field. Off the field, however, the team is thriving financially.
Since Haslam bought the Browns for a little less than $1 billion in August 2012, the team's value has climbed by about 50%. In this time span, the team has accumulated a record of just 16-33.
Out of 32 NFL franchises, the Browns placed just 25th. However, the team's value grew 34% in this past year.
Also consider this: The Browns ranked 21st in the NFL in revenue with $314 million, while operating at a budget of just $34.7 million, fourth lowest in the league. In other words, Haslam spent less on the team and made more money.
Forbes wrote this about Haslam and the Browns:
Jimmy Haslam completed his purchase of the Browns in 2015. In 2012, Haslam bought 70% of the team from Randy Lerner with the deal stipulating the CEO of Pilot Flying J would purchase the remaining 30% within three years. The enterprise value paid by Haslam, discounting for the three-year term of the deal, was $987 million. The Browns are feeling the effects of seven consecutive losing seasons. They have the cheapest average ticket price in the NFL ($54) and in 2014 were 20th in the league in average attendance (67,425). Attendance fell 5.4% last season.
The profile essentially says this: Jimmy Haslam did not make as much money as he could have if the team had performed well. But Haslam still made a lot of money.
Today's lesson: Being an NFL owner is a lucrative venture.