Billboard Funder, Casino Magnate Jason Ader tried to buy Red Bulls

Jason Ader

Businessman Jason Ader didn’t just help push the Red Bulls supporters’ billboard campaign over the top — he once tried to buy the team.

In an exclusive conversation with EOS, the Las Vegas magnate spoke about his role in contributing to the Red Bull fans Indie Go-Go campaign — and his attempt to purchase the Red Bulls’ franchise.

“I asked sometime last year, got to know [Red Bull Head of Global Soccer] Oliver Mintzlaff from Red Bull [Austria], and asked if there was a chance the team was for sale, to let me know.  I had an interest,” Ader tells EOS. “He made it very clear the team is not for sale and so I said to him then and I would say now, I would be happy to work with you to make the club the best it can be, from player development to fan engagement, let me know how I can help.

“It was pretty clear when I spoke to Oliver last the team was not for sale, but hopefully if they change their mind, they would let me be part of the process to bid on it.”

Ader is part of an ownership group looking to secure an MLS franchise in Las Vegas — a plan reported to be around $350 million. His interest in the Red Bull operation is not unique.

Corroborating recent reports, EOS has learned up to five potential ownership groups have sought to speak to Red Bull about a possible sale. As SI reported, both the Manchester City/New York Yankees and a New Jersey investment group inquired about the team’s sale status. Ader is believed to be part of the latter organization. Other sources also tell us PSG showed interest in a possible purchase of the club as well, as did a separate group led by former CONCACAF boss, Chuck Blazer.

Ader’s interest in Las Vegas comes from a lifetime of business dealings in the area. “I have been an investor and a provider of capital for the Casino industry my whole life,” he explained. “It is a city that doesn’t have any professional sports, a city that is wildly passionate about soccer with great youth development programs. It isn’t competing against other alternatives like we have here in New York where you are fighting with football, basketball, or baseball.”

The Red Bull project, however, hits closer to home for the New York native, pushing him to help the Red Bull supporters in a time of tumult with a $500 contribution to their pro-Mike Petke billboard protest.

“The way the two clubs have treated the New York City fans over the past two weeks has been awful,” he said. “I wanted to support the New York Red Bull supporters specifically because I really feel there is great history there, they are a critical part to every game, they are the energy, they are the songs of the club.

“I take my kids to the matches, and in addition to watching the game itself, one of the best parts about going and experiencing MLS games is the supporters. From what I was reading, and what I was seeing in social media, it was clear the supporters, particularly for Red Bull, who my kids and family enjoy, we are extremely frustrated. I wanted to support them.”

But it wasn’t just the fans he wanted to support.  He also has a personal connection with another important individual in this entire saga; Mike Petke.

“Two years ago, [Petke] made a birthday video for my seven year old son wishing him a happy birthday and telling him to keep practicing playing soccer and maybe one day, he would play for him,” Ader recalls. “Talk about youth development! To have the coach who the kids watch every game say something like that — it really changed his life. Now he is nine and playing soccer everyday, five days a week. I know that role model was key part of it. I am forever grateful to that and for that.”

Ader, who followed the New York Cosmos in their heyday, sees the sport growing once more in the United States. While Red Bull may not be for sale, he continues to keep his eye on the product — just in case they change their minds.

“I believe having seen MLS in a lot of different cities, the Red Bull supporters, the Metrostars supporters are incredibly unique. They have amazing history and they bring a tremendous amount of energy and blood into every game, win or loss, and I find them to be the best fans in the MLS,” he said.

“I would be [interested in owning the club] but lets also make it clear — they told me it is not for sale. Since they told me it is not for sale, I told them I support helping them …. with any business objectives they have, I am happy to help them achieve [those goals].”

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    The type of potential owner we need more of in American soccer. He seems to get it.

  • gregj

    Well that might not be up for sale now, but I bet after the town hall meeting the organization will reconsider.

  • Chris

    My one question here would be: Doesn’t it seem a little odd that Ader said this…

    “Since they told me it is not for sale, I told them I support helping them …. with any business objectives they have, I am happy to help them achieve [those goals].”

    While he’s simultaneously funding an anti-Red Bull billboard campaign and re-tweeting a bunch of #RedBullOut stuff?

    • Absolute Disgrace

      Doesn’t strike me as odd. At that point, they (NYRB) hadn’t betrayed fans and spit on them in the way they just did.

  • The people are rising up. Get out while you can, before you’re humiliated more than you ever have been, Red Bull.

  • Anonymous

    Ader + Wilt + Petke

    Gimme that

  • Revolt

    MLS needs this guy as an owner. Badly. That’s the kind of passion needed in MLS.

  • Garth

    RedBull needs to GTFO. They are NOT wanted here anymore. Take the hint you corporate clowns. And dump the trash on your way out!

  • chepe pedos

    this is the type of owners we need in american soccer…owners who know about the sport and also follow it …this man would be a great owner for the redbulls…

    • Garth

      You mean the MetroStars.

  • NASL to El Paso tx

    Let’s be realistic here, nycfc have serious owners and they could of bought red bull but red bull said no.
    Now, there is still serious buyers out there who want to buy red bull and probably rebrand them but red bull says no and MLS is staying out of it, very awkward situation.
    Also, Why does psg want to buy red bull, and what connection do they have to MLS and garber.
    Another very important question, if red bull get sold, I see a rebrand and not a cosmos connection, so that would mean MLS could have 3 teams in New York/New Jersey area, IF cosmos don’t end up taking red bull spot.
    At the end of the day, some many questions are unanswered by MLS, red bull and cosmos.
    If you ask me, I would love for red bull to rebrand and let cosmos come in as well, if there’s enough soccer fans for 3 teams and if not work something out with cosmos and red bull can go to NASL instead in another city like Baltimore or just disappear.

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  • Absolute Disgrace

    Maybe Jason Ader and the NY Cosmos can team up to buy NYRB and merge the teams – and call them Metro United.

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