Inside Snoop Dogg’s bid to help buy the Ottawa Senators: ‘He wants this team’

It looks like Ryan Reynolds isn’t the only A-list celebrity looking to buy the Ottawa Senators.

the athlete It is learned that Snoop Dogg has joined the offer from Los Angeles-based businessman Nico Sparks.

Sources familiar with the Sparks bid — but not authorized to speak publicly on the matter — have confirmed that the iconic hip-hop artist has joined forces with Sparks in the hot pursuit of the Ottawa Senators franchise.

“He’s passionately involved. He comes up with ideas. He’s legitimately passionate,” a source told Snoop’s engagement. “He wants this team.”

Multiple sources have stated that the Sparks Group isn’t intimidated by the idea of ​​an NHL franchise’s eventual sale price exceeding $1 billion (US), though it’s unclear how much of a financial stake Snoop has in the group. A source confirmed that Snoop is part of the owners association as the Sparks outline the ambition of leading the most diverse ownership group the NHL has ever seen. The consortium includes more than a dozen investors, and the majority of the ownership group is made up of people of color.

Snoop’s inclusion in the conversation about the Senators’ property situation is certainly an interesting plot twist in the final stages of the process. The hockey team’s next round of bids is due in two weeks, and this news article may inject a degree of credibility and familiarity into the Sparks group, which has been largely hidden in anonymity until now.

Snoop has been a dynamic force in the music and entertainment industry for three decades and comes to the table with a massive social media influence, including more than 100 million combined followers on Instagram (80.1 million) and Twitter (20.9 million). Snoop performed at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles in 2022, along with Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar.

There is a belief that Snoop will be able to use his connections to lure investors and other celebrities into the Senators’ fold. And the 51-year-old is optimistic about using his strength and celebrity status to amplify and grow the Ottawa Senators brand.

A source said Snoop has already begun planning in advance how he will integrate himself into the franchise for the 2023-24 NHL season if the Sparks group emerges as a successful bid. Snoop was planning to attend a handful of Senators games at the Canadian Tire Center and potentially join the TSN booth to provide some analysis and commentary for regional TV broadcasts in Ottawa — similar to what he did for the Los Angeles Kings in the past.

But in particular, sources say Snoop is intrigued by the potential to grow and market hockey to families of diverse backgrounds in the Ottawa area — and beyond — who haven’t necessarily been targeted by the sport in the past.

“He’s excited about trying to make this game more accessible to visible minorities and kids in low-income areas who couldn’t play hockey in the past,” says one source. “He wants to be community oriented.”

He would adopt a similar model in the world of hockey that he used to launch the Snoop Football League in 2005—the league’s mission is to “provide young people, regardless of race, color, creed, or economic background, the opportunity to learn the values ​​of character, integrity, discipline, and teamwork through football and cheerleading.” . The Youth Football League was profiled in an eight-episode Netflix documentary called ‘Coach Snoop’ in 2018.

In addition to his career as a movie star, Snoop has also carved out a niche as an aggressive entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Case Verde Capital, one of the first cannabis-focused investment firms in the world. Last year, he bought the label Death Row Records, which was the label for his debut album in 1993. He’s also partnered with wine label 19 Crimes to release Snoop Cali red wines in 2020, in addition to his release. His own brand of gin under his own Indoggo label. In addition to many other projects, Snoop has also helped create an animated TV series called “Doggyland,” where the goal is to create educational content for children centered around music.

Over the years, Snoop has also emphatically shown his support for hockey.

In the 1994 music video for “Gin and Juice”—one of the defining moments in his early career—Snoop is wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey. In the 2021 story at the athlete About the Penguins retro shirts, Snoop has been informed that many fans in Pittsburgh still refer to this version of the Penguins sweatshirt as the “Gin and Juice” shirt.

“This is a big one. It’s such an honor to hear that legends like Lemieux and Jagr have rocked that jersey,” Snoop said. the athlete via email in December 2021.

Snoop has also teamed up with the NHL to help develop the sport to a new audience. In 2018, he released a weekly video series on where he calls himself “Dogg Cherry” and explains some of the nuances and history of the sport to a new audience. The following year, EA Sports added Snoop as a commentator and playable character in its updated version of NHL ’20.

There is even a small connection between Snoop and the Ottawa Senators.

Before the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals between Ottawa and Anaheim, Senators gifted Snoop a Senators jersey. During a memorable interview with Hockey Night in Canada during the 2007 series between the Senators and Ducks, Snoop told CBC that he couldn’t wear the Senators’ Emery jersey inside the Honda Center because Anaheim fans would “grill” it.

when the athlete First about the show that Sparks headlined in early January, a source hinted that they would eventually reveal a celebrity from the entertainment world as part of their roster.

“One of the key partners is a major force in the music industry. He’s worked with everyone from Jay-Z to The Weeknd and Drake,” a source said Jan. 6. “They have relationships with high-vision individuals who can be ambassadors for the team.”

Snoop definitely checks those boxes and could help the Sparks group generate revenue in the downtown arena by attracting concerts, festivals, and other events using Snoop’s connections in the entertainment industry. One of the goals of the Sparks group is to figure out ways to monetize the arena as an entertainment venue on 300 nights when the Senators are not playing an NHL game.

in february, the athlete I reported that Adidas CEO Daniel Cherry was part of the investment team with the Sparks group.

Former NHL defensemen Matthias Norström and Trevor Daley also consult the group from a hockey perspective. Given Norström’s former connection as teammate Daniel Alfredsson on the Swedish national teams, there is speculation that the Sparks’ ownership group is willing to leave an important role open for the longtime Senators’ captain in the hockey operations department if they take control of the franchise.

However, Alfredsson did not take sides with one bidder and would rather wait for this process to be over before committing to any group.

(Photo: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images)

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