Chiefs owner Clark Hunt popped up in the Wall Street Journal (at least the online edition) on Friday talking about the family business.
Since George Steinbrenner died this week and passed the Yankees onto his sons, WSJ writer Sarah E. Needleham looked at a few other family-owned sports franchises, including the Hunts.
Similarly, Clark Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs says he began learning the ropes long before his father, Lamar, died in 2006 and left him in charge. In 1989, he got his first job within the family enterprise, a financial-analysis position at Unity Hunt Inc., which oversees the Chiefs and other family assets. "That was the first time [my father] really gave me responsibility to work side by side with him," says Mr. Hunt, adding that he had previously earned a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University.
Ownership was transferred to Clark and his three siblings in the 90s as a "gift to avoid higher takes down the road."
For those that are making ownership transfers this year they're receiving and even bigger gift: No federal estate tax in 2010. It'll be reinstated in 2011 at 55% for those with a million or more in assets. The Steinbrenners benefited from this to the tune of a reported $600 million in savings.
Clark Hunt's role in the Chiefs has been similar to his father's, which is what the plan was all along. The Chiefs ownership transfer went very well. While at the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft this year, I learned that pretty much everyone in the NFL respects the hell outta Clark and the Hunt family. I can honestly say I didn't hear any criticisms of him from the folks I've talked to. Sure, much of that has to do with his father but he helped carry on the legacy.
Rest easy, Chiefs fans. The team is in good hands.