A source close to incoming Grizzlies owner Robert Pera confirmed to Darren Rovell of ESPN (via Twitter) that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will be a part owner of the club. The news was first reported by Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM ESPN in Memphis (via Twitter). Vernon later tweeted that former NBA player Penny Hardaway will also be involved in local ownership.
Manning and Hardaway both join actor/musician Justin Timberlake in the group, which is set to take control from Michael Heisley. Timberlake's stake in the franchise is not yet known, but he is said to be making a "meaningful investment" in the club.
The current Denver Broncos quarterback has obvious ties to the area as he was the star of the Tennesee Volunteers football program before being taken No. 1 by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1998 draft. Manning may be the first active athlete in one of the four major sports leagues to have a stake in a franchise in another league. Hardaway is a Memphis native and attended the University of Memphis before heading to the NBA.