In case it wasn’t already clear just how much of a role Dell Loy Hansen has played in the businesses investing in Real Salt Lake, I thought I might do some research.
See, Brian Dunseth made a great point on the broadcast on Sunday about ‘vertical integration’ and how Hansen’s desire for it has permeated everything Real Salt Lake has done. Nearly half of the corporate partners listed on Real Salt Lake’s website are owned by Dell Loy Hansen, a few are regular partners with Hansen’s companies, and a handful are national brands who likely have league-wide deals. In fact, if you take out the two entities owned by the state of Utah, it’s exactly half of the companies that are tied closely to Hansen.
Now, I am not qualified to tell you if that’s a bad thing or a good thing in retrospect. I can, however, say that it will muddy the waters for some time as new ownership comes on board. Will any of those companies continue to sponsor Real Salt Lake? Can Real Salt Lake find sponsors who are not tied to Hansen in some way? (Yes, I think they can, and they should.)
This is also a great lesson for me in figuring out how deep Hansen’s ties to business in Utah are, and how many companies he owns or licenses. I also suspect it’s a great lesson in how many companies are left on the table here — if Hansen-owned companies are the ones partnering, is it because the club wasn’t able to land others, perhaps down to management responsible?
After all, The RSL Show recently reported that Andy Carroll, RSL’s chief business officer (for the time being, at least—after the allegations leveled against him were made public, that will almost certainly come to an end) expressed a disdain for technology companies in Utah, describing them as ‘nerds’ who are uninterested in sports. It’s not the sort of thing that imbues one with confidence about the approach taken by leadership at the organization.
Before we get to the list, a note: I was going to watch Wednesday’s match and note all the companies advertising, then do a little research on those, too. I may still do that. But I think this list will give you plenty of information, and it might change the way you see that advertising.
- Real Salt Lake, LifeVantage: Dell Loy Hansen was, at one point, the largest individual shareholder in LifeVantage. In 2017, he owned 5 percent and was the only listed principal shareholder in an SEC filing. It appears those shares were sold or otherwise distributed at some point after December 2017. The deal was set to expire in 2023, if sources in 2013 that pegged the deal as a ten-year one were accurate. While it appears there was some vertical integration here, something clearly changed. Who knows what happens with this deal.
- Utah Royals FC, Soleil Energy: You guessed it. This is a company owned by Dell Loy Hansen through Wasatch Group.
- Utah Royals FC, Royal Title: Dell Loy Hansen started this company with Sally Farrar. It’s a Hansen company.
- Real Monarchs, MarketStar: Does this name sound familiar? It’s a company owned by Dell Loy Hansen, and it was at a corporate meeting for MarketStar that Hansen imitated a Black woman on-stage.
Corporate partners (listed here)
- Atlas Disposal: Yep, a Hansen-owned company.
- Avanti Workspace: Another Hansen-owned company here.
- Biomerics: You guessed it. He owns this one through MedVenture Holdings.
- Biosonix: This company is actually owned by Biomerics, which makes sense, given the nearly identical name.
- Boswell Wasatch: Yeah.
- Corner Bakery Cafe: Well, he doesn’t own Corner Bakery, but Wasatch Group is “a licensee partner for the Utah market.”
- Dwelo: I don’t think Hansen owns Dwelo — I could be wrong — but it does look like Hansen does have a company registered as “Dwelo Spin Investors, LLC.” I’m not sure what that’s about. Oh, and Wasatch does partner with Dwelo, so there’s that, too. So, yeah, this certainly counts as vertical integration.
- MarketStar: Yeah, we talked about that.
- MedVenture Holdings: We talked about that, too.
- Miro Industries, Inc.: Yep.
- Pikus Concrete: I don’t think this one is owned by Dell Loy Hansen, but Wasatch Group does use Pikus Concrete for some properties. Maybe it’s unrelated that they’re a partner here.
- Planet Fitness: Oh, you thought they’d get out of here unscathed? Wasatch Ventures operates 10 of them.
- Preferred Compliance Solutions: Uh, yep.
- ProdataKey: Not a Hansen-owned company, but it’s another one he has partnered with closely. Also, that article features Hansen in a hard hat at the academy field. So. Yeah.
- Real Media SLC: Yep, we know that one. Hansen-owned.
- ReFuel Energy Partners: Yep!
- Rent Dynamics: I mean, yeah. Yes.
- ResMan: Hansen has invested heavily through Wasatch Venture Group. He now owns it.
- Rooftop Anchor: Did you have to ask?
- Sports Academy: Yep.
- Summit Technology: Yeah...
- Wasatch Commercial Builders: Of course.
- Wasatch Property Management: Mmhm.
In fact, maybe it have been simpler to just list the companies on the list Hansen does not own. (Adidas, Budweiser, Chevron, City Creek Center, Collins Roofing, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homie ... anyway, go check the link at the top if you want to know that yeah, he doesn’t own Chevron.)