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(BLACK PR WIRE) (August 26, 2009) Miami, FL – Stephen M. Ross, Owner and Managing General Partner of the Miami Dolphins, today announced that Venus and Serena Williams, who have 18 Grand Slam singles titles combined and are residents of Palm Beach Gardens, are joining the organization as limited partners of the franchise.
The Williams sisters are the first female African-Americans to hold an ownership stake in a NFL franchise and one of the few African-Americans league-wide to hold this unique distinction.
“We are thrilled to have Venus and Serena join the Dolphins as limited partners,” said Ross. “They are among the most admired athletes in the world and have become global ambassadors for the game of tennis. Their addition to our ownership group further reflects our commitment to connect with aggressively and embrace the great diversity that makes South Florida a multicultural gem,” added Ross.
"I am honored to be a partner in the Miami Dolphins franchise. I admire Stephen Ross' vision for the team and I am thankful to him for allowing Serena and I to be part of Miami Dolphins history,” said Venus.
"I am so excited to be part of such a renowned organization. Having spent so much of my childhood in the area, being involved with a staple of Miami culture is a huge honor. We look forward to many championships and much success together with the Miami Dolphins,” said Serena.
The Williams sisters are among the top professional athletes in the world. Between them, they have 18 Grand Slam singles titles, nine Grand Slam doubles titles, 62 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles and three Olympic gold medals. They have been credited with raising the profile of their sport and with bringing the women’s tennis game to a whole new level of power, athleticism and popularity. In addition, they are accomplished businesswomen.
Serena, currently ranked second in the world, has 11 Grand Slam singles titles, including her third Wimbledon title this past July, 28 Tour titles and two Olympic gold medals. She is a four-time ESPY Award winner, and in 2002 was named “Female Athlete of the Year” by the AP and one of People Magazine’s “25 Most Intriguing People.” Serena has her own accessories and clothing line, ANERES, and skin care line, MISSION Skin, which she co-founded. Her book, “On The Line” comes out September 1st.
Venus, currently ranked third in the world, has seven Grand Slam titles and 34 Tour titles. She now joins Marina Navratilova and Steffi Graf as the only ladies in the open era to have won five or more Wimbledon Championships. Venus is also a three-time Olympic gold medalist. She is the founding and global ambassador for the UNESCO/Tour partnership for Gender Equality, which raises awareness for gender equality issues and creates leadership opportunities for women and girls through programs in Camaroon, Liberia, China, Jordan, the Dominican Republic and the United States. In 2007, Venus launched a line of clothes named Eleven. She also owns an interior design company, V Starr Interiors.
The announcement comes on the heels of several exciting business announcements, including Marc Anthony and Emilio and Gloria Estefan joining the team as limited partners, the renaming of Dolphin Stadium to Land Shark Stadium through a partnership with Jimmy Buffett, the enlistment of Brazilian artist Britto to adorn the stadium with his iconic artwork, an innovative partnership with Kangaroo Media to provide hand held wireless units to premium seat holders, and an alliance with Ocean Drive Magazine to create a members-only club at the stadium.