Turns out Ryan Reynolds has some serious competition in his bid to own the Ottawa Senators.
On Monday, The Athletic's Ian Mendes reported that legendary rapper Snoop Dogg is joining an "aggressive" bid fronted by Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Neko Sparks to buy the Senators.
“He’s passionately involved. He’s coming up with ideas. And he’s legitimately excited,” a source told Mendes. “He wants this team.”
It's unclear how much of a stake Snoop Dogg would own if the purchase was successful, but the group is reportedly comfortable meeting the $1 billion-plus asking price for the club. Sparks — a writer, producer and director — has accumulated more than a dozen investors, the majority of which are people of colour, with the intention of leading the NHL's most diverse ownership group.
According to Mendes, Snoop Dogg already has plans to use his celebrity to grow the team brand, including attending numerous games at Canadian Tire Centre and hopping on the TSN regional broadcast to do some colour commentary and analysis.
The 51-year-old also wants to leave a footprint in the Ottawa community by marketing the sport to minorities who have historically been neglected in hockey.
“He’s passionate about trying to make this game affordable for visible minorities and kids in low-income areas who haven’t been able to play hockey in the past,” a source told Mendes. “He wants to be community oriented.”
Snoop Dogg has not been shy to profess his love for hockey in the past, most famously wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey in the music video for his track "Gin and Juice" in 1994. He collaborated with the NHL in 2018 for a video series that sought to introduce the league to a previously untapped audience. The iconic musician was also included in EA Sports' NHL 20 video game as a guest commentator — something he has also done during live NHL games in the past.
Mendes's report comes days after it was revealed by the Ottawa Sun that actor Ryan Reynolds, along with the Remington Group, is preparing a bid of over $1 billion to purchase the Senators. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has also shown interest in joining the race.
The next round of bids for the Senators are due in two weeks.