Hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg has joined the bidding group led by entrepreneur Neko Sparks to purchase the Ottawa Senators. The famous rapper is hoping to become a part-owner of the NHL franchise and use his celebrity status to "amplify and grow" the Senators brand. Snoop has more than 100 million followers across Twitter and Instagram and hopes to make hockey more affordable and accessible to visible minorities and children from low-income areas who have not been able to play the sport in the past.
The Sparks group aims to become one of the most diverse ownership groups in the NHL, with the majority of its investors being people of color. The group is not intimidated by the potential of the final sale price of the franchise, which is expected to exceed $1 billion, and hopes to compete with other bidders, including actor Ryan Reynolds and the Remington Group, among others.
The Melnyk family, which owns the Senators, hired New York-based banker Galatioto Sports Partners last year to explore a potential sale of the franchise. Eugene Melnyk, who purchased the Sens in 2003 for $93 million, passed away in March 2022, leaving the team to his two children. The Senators are valued at $800 million, according to Forbes' 2022 NHL team values list.
Snoop Dogg has become a familiar face in hockey culture over the years, and in 2018, he published a video series on NHL.com called "Hockey 101 with Snoop Dogg." He was also featured in the EA Sports' NHL video game as a commentator and has teamed up with the Los Angeles Kings for various initiatives, including being a DJ and a commentator. The next round of bidding for the Senators is due in two weeks, and the Sparks consortium will be among those vying for the rights to the franchise.