Business & Finance
News
10/15/2004
01:56 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

No Paper Lion: Ellison Eyes NFL Franchise For L.A., Report Says

With billions in the bank, the Oracle chief would find the financial challenges of an NFL team to be a snap compared with winning over Wall Street analysts.

Apparently, Larry Ellison--who may be looking for new competitive outlets as his battle with PeopleSoft Inc. winds down--has a different definition of fantasy football than the rest of us.

Quoting unnamed sources, the Los Angeles Times has reported that the Oracle CEO has had preliminary talks with the National Football League about using his riches to bring football back to Los Angeles by purchasing an existing team and moving it to Southern California, which has been without a team since 1995.

How is it that the possibility of Ellison rubbing elbows professionally with Al Davis, the Machiavellian Oakland Raiders owner, wasn't raised earlier? As the rumors of Ellison's flirtation with the NFL fly, the key question isn't why, but when. It would appear to be a match made in heaven: Instead of satisfying his competitive juices in a stately corporate setting--such as a courtroom--Ellison can enter a world where violence, hyperbole, and the art of crushing your opponent are a formalized weekly ritual. And with billions in the bank, he'd find the financial challenges of an NFL team to be a snap compared with winning over Wall Street analysts.

Oracle and the NFL aren't commenting on the development, but one key Oracle watcher says the combination of Ellison and the NFL makes sense. "Why not?" asks Charlie Di Bona, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. "He's certainly created a lot of shareholder value over the years, so he's no paper lion. He's earned the right to do what he wants to do with his money."

Calling Ellison "a guy with almost boundless energy," Di Bona says he has no concerns that the distraction of owning an NFL team would pull Ellison too far away from Oracle. "Everybody complains about Larry's meddling, and then they complain about him not being involved enough," Di Bona says. "He's a substantial Oracle shareholder, so I don't think he's going to disappear completely."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 20, 2014
CIOs need people who know the ins and outs of cloud software stacks and security, and, most of all, can break through cultural resistance.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.