If you‘re curious about Major League Soccer‘s newest headline-grabbing club, you‘re not alone. Inter Miami CF has attracted huge buzz in American soccer circles.
But who exactly is behind this ambitious Florida franchise?
Let‘s peel back the curtain and dive into Inter Miami CF‘s ownership structure.
Here‘s the key info you need to understand who owns Inter Miami:
David Beckham – Global soccer icon and leading co-owner since the start.
Jorge Mas – Cuban-American billionaire who became managing owner and CEO in 2021.
Jose Mas – Jorge‘s brother and right-hand man handling club administration.
Marcelo Claure – Wealthy businessman who initiated the club vision with Beckham.
Masayoshi Son – Japanese tech tycoon holding a multi-million dollar ownership share.
This star-studded ownership group combines deep pockets with vast soccer expertise.
But how did these individuals come together? And how have the ownership dynamics evolved along Inter Miami CF‘s rapid rise?
Let‘s explore the key backstories, power shifts and future ambitions that define this club‘s raw potential.
Beckham Spearheaded the Vision
Like any success story, there‘s an inspiring origin point. For Inter Miami CF, that genesis lies with legendary English midfielder David Beckham.
Back in 2007, Becks signed a 5-year contract with LA Galaxy that included a unique clause. It gave him the right to own an MLS expansion franchise later on for just $25 million.
For perspective, that‘s pennies compared to the $200 million price tag for new teams today!
In 2014, Beckham exercised this bargain option, partnering with Bolivian telecom magnate Marcelo Claure to bring professional soccer to Miami.
Beckham‘s experience, reputation and passion provided the initial spark:
His global stardom gave the Miami bid immediate credibility and clout.
20+ years playing for powerhouses like Manchester United and Real Madrid gave him tremendous insider know-how.
And he‘d long eyed Miami as the perfect home for his own club due to the city‘s diversity and passion for soccer.
Think of Beckham as the pioneering visionary who saw Miami‘s enormous potential as an MLS market earlier than anyone. His bold ambition attracted investment from wealthy backers to turn this dream into reality.
The Mas Brothers – From Minor Partners to Majority Owners
When Beckham first announced his Miami MLS franchise, Jorge and Jose Mas were relatively small investors.
The Cuban-American siblings had made their fortune turning their father‘s MasTec engineering firm into a multi-billion dollar conglomerate.
But their influence grew exponentially over Inter Miami CF‘s first few years:
In 2017, they significantly upped their investment to acquire equal partnership stakes with Beckham.
By 2021, Jorge Mas had purchased Marcelo Claure‘s shares to emerge as the club‘s CEO and managing owner.
Today, the Mas brothers own a combined 70%+ of the club. Their surging ownership now aligns with growing leadership roles:
Jorge is the face of the club. As CEO and Managing Owner, he aggressively pursues initiatives like building a new 25,000 seat stadium to cement Inter Miami CF as MLS royalty.
Jose works behind the scenes but remains equally influential. He ensures the club‘s operations, staffing and infrastructure can support Jorge‘s ambitious vision.
In many ways, the Mases have now assumed the primary leadership reins from Beckham. Their takeover exemplifies Inter Miami CF‘s evolution from startup to established franchise.
Marcelo Claure and Masayoshi Son – The Ousted Investors
While the Mases consolidated power, two early investors saw their sway diminish:
Marcelo Claure was instrumental during Inter Miami CF‘s genesis. The Bolivian businessman assembled the initial ownership group alongside Beckham.
But his stake dropped from 25% to under 10% in 2021 when Jorge Mas assumed full control. While no longer an absentee owner, Claure‘s lingering minority share means he still has some skin in the game.
Masayoshi Son is the billionaire founder of tech investment giant SoftBank. He bought a 33% share of the club in early 2018.
But like Claure, the Japanese tycoon was diluted by the Mas brothers‘ expansion. Son retains a single-digit stake today. However, his tech industry connections could still prove useful.
Claure and Son clearly aren‘t driving forces anymore. But as residual shareholders, they haven‘t fully cut ties with Beckham‘s ambitious MLS dream child either.
Messi Deal Cements Inter Miami As Major Player
In August 2022, Inter Miami CF sent shockwaves through the soccer world by signing Argentine phenom Lionel Messi.
Adding the 7-time Ballon d‘Or winner is an absolute game-changer:
Messi immediately becomes the face of the franchise and lifts the club‘s profile globally.
His GOAT-level talent provides Inter Miami CF with a world class striker despite being 35.
Seeing out his career in Florida signals MLS‘s growing legitimacy and spending power.
For you as a fan, Messi‘s arrival is a testament to Inter Miami CF‘s limitless potential. This club means business if they can attract arguable soccer‘s greatest ever player.
The deal also represents a huge early win for Jorge Mas‘s leadership. Convincing Messi to come on board is a massive flex that validates the club‘s aggressive growth strategy.
Controversies and Compliance Missteps
However, Inter Miami CF‘s breakneck ascent hasn‘t been without speed bumps. The desire to gain an edge has also led to some high-profile compliance issues:
In 2020, the club was fined $2 million (a record at the time) for violating MLS salary budget rules. An investigation found they had wrongly designated Blaise Matuidi as a Targeted Allocation Money signing to lessen his salary cap hit.
Inter Miami CF‘s $60 million state of the art training complex also faced major construction delays, only opening in 2022 after issues with contractors and overspending.
As a fan keeping tabs on your club, it‘s reassuring to see Inter Miami CF acknowledge these missteps, pay their fines and commit to improving oversight.
A bit of early turbulence is often part of an ambitious expansion club finding its feet. The key is learning lessons to emerge stronger.
Ownership Evolution – From Dream to Reality
Looking back, It‘s remarkable how much Inter Miami CF‘s ownership makeup has transformed since the idea first emerged:
|Year||Notable Owners||Ownership Breakdown|
|2014||Beckham, Claure||Beckham – 30%, Claure – 70%|
|2018||Beckham, Claure, Mas Brothers, Son||Beckham – 30%, Claure – 25%, Mas Brothers – 30%, Son – 15%|
|2021||Beckham, Mas Brothers, Claure minority||Mas Brothers – 70%, Beckham – 30%|
|2022||Beckham, Mas Brothers, Messi joins team||No change to core owners, just addition of Messi|
You can clearly see the shift from Marcelo Claure‘s early majority control to the Mas brothers firmly taking the steering wheel.
David Beckham has remained a constant presence providing direction. But Jorge and Jose Mas undoubtedly emerged as owners-in-chief as the club found its identity.
The Road to the Top
If the speedy ascent to snag Messi tells us anything, it‘s that Inter Miami CF‘s owners are far from done shooting for the stars.
Here are a few stated objectives you can expect from the men with their eyes on claiming MLS supremacy:
Grow the fanbase – Increase support by marketing Messi‘s appeal and investing in grassroots youth programs.
Win titles – Become perennial playoff contenders and capture MLS Cup within the next decade.
Develop talent – Build one of MLS‘s top academies that produces homegrown star players.
Construct stadium – Finish and fill proposed 25,000 seat Miami Freedom Park to make Inter Miami CF‘s home truly iconic.
Owning an ambitious club like Inter Miami CF is not for the faint hearted. But the mix of Beckham‘s experience, the Mases‘ business savvy, and Messi‘s shine means this club has all the ingredients for meteoric success.
If I had to put money on MLS‘s next big thing, Inter Miami CF looks like a smart bet. Who knows, maybe I‘ll see you in the stands soon cheering them on!