Alexis Levi, 43
CEO, general manager and owner, The Las Vegas Stars International Basketball League
The first African-American woman to own a professional basketball franchise within the International Basketball League, Levi manages one of its 21 expansion teams. The four-year-old league, which features teams from the United States, Canada, China and Japan, is rapidly gaining popularity. Once a basketball athlete herself, she grew frustrated at how players often ended their short careers on shaky financial ground after having scored big profits for their teams. Levi made a decision to change the game. This former sports agent and real estate investor reached for the Stars in 2006, using real estate profits and investor capital. She retained 80 percent ownership, selling the balance to friends, family and investors. Levi projects $10 million in revenues in the next five years.
She actively steers her players toward opportunities such as movie deals and endorsements, no matter where they lead. The Las Vegas Stars guard–forward Dajuan Tate, whose 35-point average led him to the All-Star game in the team’s first season, recently inked a sweet deal with the Chinese Basketball Association. —nicole marie richardson
Power Quote: “Power is not defined by money but by the relationships and high-level connections that make deals happen.”