The Harlem Globetrotters have been a staple in the black community for as long as I could remember. The flamboyant yet exciting brand of basketball has become a must-see.
What many people aren’t aware of is what transpired to get the organization to the level it’s at now. In 1993, when the Globetrotters were headed toward bankruptcy, Mannie Jackson stepped in to save the day. Jackson, a former High School Basketball All-American, and star of Illinois University Basketball team also played for the Globetrotters from 1962 to 1964.
During his time with the team, head coach, and owner Abe Saperstein would take him under his wing, sharing with him invaluable information about how the team worked behind the scenes.
After spending several years as a high ranking executive with Honeywell Inc, Jackson along with an investment group decided to put what he learned from Saperstein into practice, purchasing the organization for $6 million.
By focusing on a younger audience and players who were more skilled they were able to rejuvenate the team, ultimately making it a more profitable business.
In 2005, Jackson would sell his stake in the team for $100 million but still remain apart of the organization as a chairman. Mannie Jackson’s entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen serves as a great example for melanated boys and girls around the world.