Nintendo selling off majority stake in Seattle pro baseball team

April 27, 2016 by Kris Ligman

Wait, Nintendo owned a baseball team?

Nintendo, that family-friendly game company with the iPod-white consoles and mustachioed plumber mascot, announced today via press release it would be selling off the bulk of its financial investment in Major League Baseball team the Seattle Mariners.

This is likely the first time most Nintendo customers have even heard that the company owned an American baseball team, but this has actually been the case for over two decades. Just goes to show the sort of tunnel vision you can get when your idea of 'game-related news' mainly focuses on release dates (not that I'm above criticism there).

A lapel pin for the Seattle 'Mario-ners' found via Videogame Auctions. A lapel pin for the Seattle 'Mario-ners' found via Videogame Auctions.

It's actually not at all unusual for a major, transnational corporation of Nintendo's size to have business holdings in other industries. Nintendo's former rival turned third-party developer Sega, for instance, actually makes way more money out of its parent company's pachinko business. And corporate giants like Microsoft and Sony certainly consider their videogame operations just one tentacle out of the sprawling, world consuming, eldritch cephalopods of their main business enterprises.

In the case of Nintendo and the Seattle Mariners, the game company actually invested in the team through something called First Avenue Entertainment, a limited liability/limited partnership (LLLP) composed of several business entities. To these fellow members of FAE, Nintendo is selling off all but a 10% stake in the sports team. So while Nintendo will no longer be significantly invested financially, there should be no change to the Seattle Mariners themselves -- except perhaps fewer people in Mario suits wandering around the stadiums, like the one shown above.

(h/t Nintendo Everything.)

Kris Ligman is the News Editor for ZAM.