The recent sale of the Atlanta Hawks NBA franchise and the rights to operate Philips Arena has made headlines around the world as billionaire Tony Ressler made the move to purchase the franchise and become the latest NBA owner. Ressler purchased the Hawks franchise from the consortium fronted by Maryland based businessperson Bruce Levenson who has been a popular figure at the Hawks after turning a struggling franchise into a winning one after his purchase of the franchise in 2004. Levenson has taken the successes of his business career and pushed them forward as the owner of a sports franchise that has since found success in both sporting and business senses.
The Atlanta Hawks were a franchise in need of direction and leadership when Bruce Levenson and his fellow members of the Atlanta Spirit consortium took control of the team, the rights to Philips Arena and the Atlanta Thrashers NHL franchise. In the late 1990s the Hawks had invested heavily in a number of players the front office believed would lead them to greater success in the playoffs and a second overall NBA title.
By the time Bruce Levenson arrived in Atlanta to lead the Hawks the franchise had slipped to the bottom of the NBA rankings. Fortunately, Bruce Levenson has never been a person to shy away from a challenge and showed this by creating a large business from a single newsletter for the oil and gas industry in the 1970s. Levenson’s UCG company has grown from small beginnings to become a top supplier of real time analytics in the 21st century for a range of companies and industries. Bruce Levenson has taken these business skills to the sporting world where he led the Hawks on a decade long journey from the bottom of the rankings to the position of the top seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
There is much more to the role Bruce Levenson plays at the Atlanta Hawks than simply the on court activities. Instead, the Maryland based owner had become a key figure in philanthropic activities for the franchise over the course of the last decade, which saw the Atlanta Hawks return to an important position within the local community. The Hawks now take part in many different community programs, which included the chance to work with charities like the Make A Wish Foundation and the US Holocaust Museum.