Typically, the acquisitions of note in this game are made in the front office, not *for* the front office; the most newsworthy transaction in Israel reported yesterday may have been Hapoel Jerusalem’s addition of Guma Aguiar as the team’s new main sponsor. Aguiar also recently became a sponsor of Beitar Jerusalem football club as well, investing over $4 million in that program.
Hapoel Jerusalem’s official website quotes mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat proclaiming that “Guma did not come to buy the group, but to build it.” How will this be done? According to Hapoel Jerusalem club chairman Danny Klein, “We made an agreement that every shekel the organization brings in Guma will match.” Klein went on to state that more free agents would be pursued by his club and deep-pocketed Guma.
For his part, Guma talked the talk, stating that “We’re not looking to compete financially with Maccabi Tel Aviv. We’re looking to beat them on the court.”
Just 33 years old, Aguiar is the currently vice chairman/CEO of Leor Energy. Formerly a stock-floor clerk, Aguiar came into personal affluence this decade with investments in Texas oilfields. Today, the self-made multi-millionaire is heavy into Zionism causes and is routinely counted among the world’s most prominent and important Jewish leaders.
Hapoel Jerusalem also announced the signing of Tre Simmons this week and is reportedly in contract talks with former University of Portland/BC Kiev/ViveMenorca guard Pooh Jeter.