Some of the top athletes in the nation’s four major sports have teamed up to begin investing in farmland across the country. Their first investment is the purchase of a 104-acre, corn and soy-focused farm in northern Iowa, where they will lease the land to farmers and seek a single-digit-percentage annual return on the total investment. The group of roughly 25 athletes getting involved in the investment include:
- Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow
- Boston Celtics power forward Blake Griffin
- Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kevin Gausman
- New York Islanders left winger Anders Lee
- Free agent point guard Kemba Walker
- Milwaukee Bucks small forward Khris Middleton
- Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz
- Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard
The purchase was made possible thanks to a fund of roughly $5 million for agricultural investments that each athlete contributed to. It was arranged by Patricof Co., an investment firm that sources investment opportunities for athletes while also incorporating institutional investors such as JPMorgan.
Patricof Co. Founder Mark Patricof told Front Office Sports agriculture investments had been of interest for years. He said they became more of a focus in 2022, when he felt the market was running too hot.
“We did three investments last year after doing six the year before,” Patricof said. “The market changed. The world changed. Prices didn’t necessarily go down, but valuations should have, so we held back. It was the right time in the cycle to put money into this asset class.”
The group of athletes plan to continue investing in farmland in the next few years. They want to own a diverse set of agricultural assets and have looked into watermelon farms in Oregon.