Photo by Billy Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images
One-time Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein will return to the organization, co-owning Fenway Sports Group and joining a senior advisor role, FSG will announce Friday morning.
“It's a great honor and something I'm really excited about,” Epstein said in a video call. “It's exciting to be joining such a dynamic and pioneering company across so many sports, doing so many innovative things at the forefront of everything happening in sports these days. For me, it's perfect, I've been looking for a path to ownership.
At Fenway, Epstein will work on sports initiatives across the company's holdings, which include Liverpool Football Club, the Pittsburgh Penguins, RFK Racing, TGL's Boston Common Golf and a recently acquired stake in the PGA Tour, as well as the Red Sox.
Epstein is leaving his role as MLB special advisor with the move to FSG, but will continue to serve the league's competition and on-field committees informally. The special advisor role is part-time, allowing Epstein to continue as operating partner of sports-focused private equity group Arctos Partners, which has an investment in FSG.
“The vision is to invest in the great brands – the major franchises, clubs and sports – that matter most to their supporters and fanbases,” said Sam Kennedy, Partner at FSG and President/CEO of the Red Sox. In a video call. “Having Theo as a consultant in this endeavor represents a very unique opportunity, given that all he has done is win everywhere he has gone.”
In New England, Epstein is best known for helping build the 2004 Red Sox as general manager, a team beloved for breaking an 86-year championship drought and dramatically beating the archrival Yankees in doing so. In 2011, he left the executive to head baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs, breaking their 108-year non-title streak in 2016. More recently, he worked with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to develop rule changes that sped up games last season. As well as helping Arctos identify potential investments.
On the baseball front, Epstein says he will serve as a sounding board and executive coach, if necessary, for the Red Sox' baseball operations personnel. Most notably, he hired Red Sox baseball team president Craig Breslow while with the Cubs. “I'm a complete believer in him and what he and his team will mean to the Red Sox,” Epstein said of Breslow, who joined the Red Sox in October. “In other sports, where I have a lot to learn, I hope my experience not only with teams but with Major League Baseball and with private equity will be useful, at least as a supportive resource for the people at FSG.”
According to Kennedy, Fenway's ownership group has been looking to bring Epstein back to the organization for some time. “The reunion comes at a special time for us, as we look to double the wins in Boston, Liverpool, Pittsburgh and now with the PGA Tour,” Kennedy said. “Helping us think about people issues, investment issues, league issues, new opportunities — it's really an investment in Fenway Sports Group. Theo is trusted here.”
“Food ninja. Friendly thinker. Explorer. Entrepreneur. Zombie junkie.