Founder, Majority Owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Ted Leonsis is founder, chairman, majority owner and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns and operates the Washington Capitals (NHL), Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Mystics (WNBA) and Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. In March 2016 MSE announced the acquisition of an Arena Football League team that will begin play in the spring of 2017. The partnership also operates Kettler Capitals Iceplex (the Washington Capitals’ training facility and front office headquarters) and George Mason University’s EagleBank Arena.
The company, which was formed in June 2010, serves a thriving regional sports community and is the only privately held company in a top-10 market to own and operate three, soon to be four, professional sports teams and its arena.
In the first quarter of 2016, a rebranded Monumental Sports Network was launched, a first-of-its-kind regional sports network for digital, mobile and over-the-top platforms. Customizable features and the ability to deliver content across multiple platforms and devices allow users to access content wherever and whenever they prefer.
In September 2015 Washington, D.C., announced plans to construct a sports and entertainment arena in Ward 8. The 5,000-seat facility would include a practice court for the Wizards and serve as the Mystics home court. Monumental Sports & Entertainment will be a tenant, leasing space from the city, and Events DC will manage and program the facility.
Mr. Leonsis serves on the board of governors for the NBA and NHL as well as on the executive committee of the NHL. He previously was chairman of the NBA media committee.
In 1999 Mr. Leonsis purchased 100% of the Washington Capitals and 44% of the Washington Wizards and Verizon Center. He purchased control of the Washington Mystics in 2005, and in 2010 Mr. Leonsis acquired the remaining ownership interest in the Wizards and Verizon Center.
Revolution and Venture Capital Investor
Mr. Leonsis is a cofounder and partner in the “speed-up capital” Revolution Growth Fund II, which currently has made investments in 15 companies: Bedrock Manufacturing (Shinola and Filson), Bigcommerce, Cava, CustomInk, Echo360, FedBid, Handy, LDiscovery, Lolly Wolly Doodle, Optoro, Resonate, sweetgreen, Revolution Foods, SpareFoot and Sportradar. He serves on the board of directors of companies where he led investments: FedBid, Resonate, Optoro and CustomInk. Previously he was chairman of Revolution Money, a unit of Revolution LLC that was purchased by American Express in 2010. Mr. Leonsis then joined the American Express board of directors and currently leads the technology and innovation committee.
Mr. Leonsis is an investor and lead independent board member of Groupon, where he previously was co-CEO and chairman of the board of directors. He also has personally made investments and owned equity in numerous companies, including Google, AOL, Revolution Money, AddThis, Preview Travel (Travelocity), GridPoint, Inside.com (formerly Mahalo), MobilePosse, ObjectVideo, SB Nation, Zedge, Triporati, Personal, I-Village, Proxicom, Cricket Media (formerly ePals), SnagFilms, MediaBank, Two Harbors, Videology, Algentis, Social Radar and Forbes’ Travel Guide.
Filmmaker and Digital Entrepreneur
Mr. Leonsis created and produced the award-winning film Nanking. The film premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the Documentary Editors Award. The film went on to win a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award. The film was distributed theatrically, appeared on HBO and is one of the most viewed documentaries of all time because of its wide distribution in theater and on television throughout China. Mr. Leonsis also produced the documentary film Kicking It, which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and aired on ESPN. He then produced A Fighting Chance, which aired on ESPN in 2010. In 2013 he produced Lost for Life, a documentary that explores juvenile offenders who have been sentenced to life without parole. Lost for Life was broadcast in 58 countries in 2014 and garnered both critical acclaim and ratings success. Most recently he produced the documentary We the People: The Market Basket Effect.
Mr. Leonsis is the founder, chairman and largest shareholder in SnagFilms, a content and technology company with a full-service video streaming platform, professional video and journalism content assets and established relationships with the creative community. SnagFilms has more than 5,000 films in its digital library and is available online and on its proprietary applications on every mobile and connected device. SnagFilms also owns and operates Indiewire, the leading site for news and information about television and films. SnagFilms/Indiewire has won many awards, including two Webbys, and was named the Red Herring Top 100 Company for North America.
Through the Leonsis Foundation, his sports teams and the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, SnagFilms and his family’s personal giving, hundreds of local charities are served each year. In 2015 Mr. Leonsis was named chairman of the board of DC-CAP (District of Columbia College Access Program) and also is on the board of CSF – DC (College Success Foundation – District of Columbia).
Other highlighted charities and causes include Best Buddies, DC Central Kitchen, See Forever Foundation, Venture Philanthropy Partners, Street Soccer USA, YouthAIDS, GlobalGiving.org, DC-CAP, D.C. College Success Foundation, Potomac School, Georgetown University, Children’s Hospital, Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association, Salvation Army Angle Tree, Alliance for Lupus Research, Serve DC, Fort Dupont Ice Arena and Ice Hockey Club, USO of Metropolitan Washington, Capital Area Food Bank, Flashes of Hope, Inova Health System Foundation, UNICEF, obesity prevention and numerous local schools, cancer research and awareness programs.
As the former vice chairman of Washington 2024, Mr. Leonsis assumed a leading role in guiding the region’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. In June 2014 the United States Olympic Committee identified Washington and three other cities as potential locations.
During his almost 14-year career at AOL, Mr. Leonsis served as president of America Online Services Company, president of AOL Studios, president of AOL Web Properties, vice chairman and president of AOL Core Services, vice chairman and president of AOL Audience Business and vice chairman emeritus. The company recorded its greatest levels of innovation and growth under his leadership, and in May 2010 AOL named a central office tower The Leonsis Creative Center in his honor. Mr. Leonsis retired from active management of AOL in 2006.
Mr. Leonsis has authored numerous books, including Blue Magic: The People, Power and Politics Behind the IBM PC and The Business of Happiness: 6 Secrets to Extraordinary Success in Work and Life.
* Blogs daily at Ted’s Take (TedsTake.com)
* Previously served on the board of directors at Georgetown University, Rosetta Stone, Nutrisystem, AddThis and Alcatel-Lucent
* Coined term “filmanthropy” to signify films that shine a light on important topics and activate charitable giving (2006)
* Created a 101-item life-list following an early 1980s reckoning and has checked off 83 of the 101 things to do
* Founded the first new media company: Redgate Communications in 1986
* Coined the phrase “New Rules – New Media” in 1987
* Co-invented successful board game “Only in New York” (1983)
* Founded six personal computer magazines between 1981 and 1988
* Served as mayor of Orchid, Fla. (1990-94)
* Worked at Wang Laboratories and Harris Corporation early in career
Awards and Honors
* Sports Business Journal 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business
* Washington Business Man of the Year
* Washingtonian of the Year
* Georgetown University John Carroll Award
* United States Sports Academy Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award
* Greater Washington Urban League Unsung Philanthropist Award
* TAPS Engaged Philanthropist Award
* Tech Council of Maryland Lifetime Achievement Award
* Northern Virginia Technology Council Hall of Fame Award
* Top 10 Creative Executives in America
* Top 20 Most Powerful People in Sports
* Lowell (Mass.) High School Alumni Hall of Fame
* Married to Lynn Leonsis; son, Zachary; daughter, Elle
* Georgetown University Class of 1977
* Lives in Maryland