MAVS GET NEW OWNER … KINDA

The Dallas Mavericks have announced that Todd Wagner is a new minority owner in the team, which is weird because I know for a fact that Wagner is white. Wagner, you may recall, was/is Cuban’s partner in Broadcast.com and 2929 Entertainment. Hmm. I wonder who approached whom in that deal. Was it, “Hey, Mark. You look like you’re having a lot of fun as an NBA owner. Can I have fun, too?”? Or was it, “Yeah, um, Todd. Wassup? Say, I could really use a few mil if you got some cash handy.” Or maybe it was something else, like a bet. Or a dare. Full press release after the jump.

DALLAS MAVERICKS RECEIVE MINORITY INVESTMENT FROM ENTREPRENEUR TODD WAGNER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – DALLAS – August 18, 2005 – The Dallas Mavericks announced today that the team has received a minority investment from Todd Wagner, the media, entertainment and social entrepreneur, who has partnered with Mark Cuban in several other ventures including 2929 Entertainment and Broadcast.com. The undisclosed investment, which has been formally approved by the NBA, makes Wagner a minority owner of the team. As a minority owner, he will not take an active role in running the team or its business.

“I’m excited to have Todd join the Mavericks team,” said Cuban, majority owner of the Mavericks since January 2000.

“I am happy to show my support for Mark, my longtime business partner and friend, and the team as they continue to pursue an NBA championship,” said Wagner. “What Mark has done in five short years with the Mavericks is one of the most amazing turnarounds in sports history. I’m proud to be an investor in the franchise.”

Todd Wagner is co-owner and CEO of 2929 Entertainment, a vertically-integrated media company with interests in all aspects of the entertainment business, from development and production to distribution and exhibition, spanning film, TV and home entertainment with a specialized niche in digital content. Through 2929 Entertainment, Wagner and Cuban own 100% of Rysher Entertainment, Landmark Theaters, and Magnolia Pictures Distribution, and also hold an interest in Lions Gate Entertainment. They also own two movie production companies, 2929 Productions and HDNet Films, along with HDNet and HDNet Movies, two general entertainment high-definition television networks available on most major cable and satellite providers. 2929 recently announced a partnership with Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh to make six high-definition films that will each be delivered simultaneously over theatrical, television and home entertainment platforms.

Wagner has also created the Todd Wagner Foundation, dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children and inner-city entrepreneurs. The Foundation supports several key programs: After-School All-Stars, a national program that provides year-round technology, academic, sports and cultural programs; MIRACLES, a groundbreaking, multi-year technology program for inner-city children operating in nine cities across the country; a Minority Technology Fund that provides funding and resources to minority-owned, technology-focused businesses based in Dallas; and a Dallas KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) charter school.

Wagner co-founded Broadcast.com with Cuban in September of 1995, and the pair sold the company to Yahoo! in 1999 for $5.7 billion.

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