Show Me the Money: How do US Sports Owners Spend their Political Dollars? (2016-2020)

Tools used in this project
Show Me the Money: How do US Sports Owners Spend their Political Dollars? (2016-2020)


About this project

The objectives of this project were:

  1. To examine the relationships between sports owners and political parties/causes.
  2. To determine how much money sports owners contributed to the two major political parties between 2016 and 2020.

The Dataset

The data was downloaded from fivethirtyeight.com as part of Data in Motion's Data Viz Challenge. The dataset contained only one .csv file.


I decided to use Tableau for this viz because I wanted the kind of interactivity in the viz that I felt only Tableau could offer.

Step 1: Some owners had up to three teams, and I split the column to show each team in a separate column.

Step 2: Some recipients were misspelled or had the same name but in different case. I went through the recipients column and grouped the recipients that matched with each other.

Step 3: I also created groups for the amounts to help with filtering amounts below $1000, those between $1000 to $99,999 and those above $100,000.


  • Political donations saw a steady decline through the period.
  • Major League Baseball owners contributed the most money to political causes.
  • San Francisco Giants Owner, Charles Johnson, contributed $11,000,700 accounting for 24.8% of the total amount contributed during this period.
  • All major sports leagues in the study contribute heavily to Republican causes, except for the WNBA which is split almost right down the middle (54% to 46% in favor of the Republicans).
  • However, Atlanta Dream co-owners, Kelly Loeffler and Mary Brock, accounted for 92.7% ($902,350) of the WNBA's Republican contributions.
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