Start calling Kevin Garnett “Il Biglietto Grande.” The Boston Celtics star has agreed to purchase a minority stake in Italian soccer club AS Roma, according to the Associated Press.
“Roma confirmed to The Associated Press that Garnett accepted an offer from James Pallotta, one of the four Boston executives who closed a deal in August to become the first foreign majority owners of a Serie A club,” the report states.
Roma was bought in August by the Boston-based consortium NEEP Roma Holding, which consists of Roma LLC (owners of two-thirds of NEEP shares) and Italian bank Unicredit (owner of the other third). Garnett, also known as “The Big Ticket,” has agreed to purchase a minority stake in Roma LLC.
Roma LLC is lead by Boston businessman Thomas DiBenedetto, Celtics minority owner Palotta and two others. Pallotta offered the noted soccer fan Garnett the opportunity to invest in the Serie A club.
Of all the soccer clubs in the world, Roma is the 18th highest earner, according to the most recent Deloitte Money League. The accounting firm estimates that the team made $156 million in revenue during the 2009-10 season.
Garnett becomes the second NBA superstar to invest in a European soccer team. In April, LeBron James bought a small stake in Liverpool FC, which is owned by Boston-based Fenway Sports Group (FSG). DiBenedetto is also a limited partner in FSG.
Garnett is no stranger to the eternal city. In 2007, the Celtics spent part of their preseason in Rome. That season would see the historic franchise win its 17th NBA championship.