Kansas City Chief’s billionaire owner keeps his word

Clark Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs

Clark Hunt, the 54-year-old billionaire chairman of the Hunt family’s US$3 billion sports empire, has seen the NFL club he owns, Kansas City Chiefs, win the Super Bowl – the name invented by his father, Lamar Hunt – for the first time in 50 years.

Clark Hunt was just four years of age when he was taken by his late father Lamar, and his mother Norma to see the Kansas City Chiefs beat the favourites Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl IV at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.

Clark Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs

In 2012 Clark Hunt wrote a letter to Chiefs’ season ticket holders after a shocking season.

“I want you to know that this city deserves better than what we provided. We can do better. And I promise you, we will do better,” Clark Hunt wrote.

The Chiefs CEO and chairman hired Andy Reid as head coach in January 2013 and cleared the dead wood. He restructured the leadership so that for the first time in the club’s history, the head coach, general manager and team president all reported directly to him.

“I try to hire the very best people and give them the resources they need to be successful,” Clark told the Dallas Morning News after the Chiefs won the Lamar Hunt Trophy in the AFC Championship game to make the Super Bowl. “I do hold them accountable, but I give them a lot of runway to do things the way they think they need to be done.”

Clark lives with his wife Tavia, a former Miss Missouri Teen USA and Miss Kansas USA, and their three children in Highland Park, Dallas. They they have a six-bedroom, two-story apartment above the owners box at Arrowhead Park, the stadium of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Clark Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs

His dad Lamar, son of legendary oil tycoon H.L. Hunt, paid US$25,000 for the Dallas Texans in 1960. Three years later, Lamar moved the team to Kansas City and created the Chiefs. The Chiefs are worth a conservative US$2.3 billion, including debt, today, Forbes reported.

Lamar founded the American Football League and Major League Soccer and created World Championship Tennis. He was an original investor in the Chicago Bulls and played a leading role in merging the American and National football leagues into what is now the NFL.

Clark graduated at the top of his business school class at Southern Methodist University in 1987 with a degree in finance and was a four-year letterman on the Mustangs’ nationally ranked soccer team. He earned first-team Academic All-America honours as a junior and senior and served as a tri-captain his final season. After graduating, Clark worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs in New York and Los Angeles.

Clark Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs

He returned to Dallas two years later to work with his dad. In 2005, a year before Lamar died, Lamar put Clark in charge of Hunt Sports Group LLC. Clark had just turned 40.

“I knew that my dad had big shoes that I would never be able to fill,” Clark told the Dallas Morning News. “But he taught me to be my own man. That’s really how I’ve tried to run both the Chiefs and FC Dallas — to be my own independent thinker.”

Clark, his mother Norma, and his siblings Dan Hunt, Sharron Hunt and Lamar Hunt Jr own the Kansas City Chiefs, FC Dallas and a part of the Chicago Bulls, the NBA’s fourth most valuable franchise at US$2.9 billion, according to Forbes.

Clark Hunt’s father saw there was money to be made in sport and his son has confirmed that belief.

Clark and his family are firm believers in God.

“It’s a beautiful trophy and I can’t think of a better conclusion to the 100th season of the NFL than receiving this trophy,” Hunt told a national television audience while receiving the NFL championship trophy. “I’m so happy for our players, coaches and fans, and especially (head coach) Andy Reid. No one deserves this trophy more than Andy Reid. I want to thank the Lord for blessing our family with all these incredible people who helped us bring this championship home. To the Chiefs Kingdom, you guys are world champions once again.”

Kansas City Chiefs partner with local ministries and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to provide chapel worship services for their fans before home games. The pre-game chapel services have been offered since 2014.

Hunt said at the CityFest East Texas Men’s Luncheon in Tyler in October last year: “We want our employees to develop spiritually. In the National Football League, Christ is really glorified. My identity is my faith in Christ.”

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