Mark Cuban told Dallas Mavericks employees via email last week that they would soon be receiving significant bonuses—worth a cumulative $35 million.
The bonuses come not long after investor Cuban sold his majority stake of the NBA team to casino guru Miriam Adelson and her family, including her son-in-law Patrick Dumont, who is the president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Under the deal, which was approved in late December, Cuban will keep partial ownership and is still expected to run basketball operations for the team.
“As a thank you for all your hard work making the Mavs an amazing organization, each of you will be receiving a bonus from myself, and the Adelson and Dumont families,” Cuban’s email to Mavs employees read. “In total we will be paying out approximately $35 plus million dollars in bonuses to you all. To calculate your bonus, we used a framework that took into consideration how long you have worked for the Mavs. You will receive your bonus in the very near future.”
Although it wasn’t said how many people work for the Dallas Mavericks, the number of employees is estimated to be around 580.
In light of Cuban’s announcement, SHRM Online rounded up additional news on employee bonuses.
Taylor Swift Gives Big Bonuses to Tour Workers
The news from Cuban comes after another billionaire made headlines with significant bonuses for employees. Entertainer Taylor Swift, who has seen mega success with her Eras Tour in the past year, recently handed out bonuses totaling more than $55 million to thank those working on her show. Those workers included dancers; riggers; sound technicians; and staff working in catering, video, audio and lighting.
She also reportedly gave $100,000 bonuses to roughly 50 of her production truck drivers.
(Rolling Stone and Quartz)
The State of Bonuses
Bonuses are still fairly common among many organizations, especially because they are highly desired by employees, but some data indicates that they have declined slightly in the past few years. Overall, the strength of the economy plays into corporate decisions about bonuses, including those that occur during the holiday season, said Eric Cormier, manager of HR services with Insperity, an HR services firm headquartered in Kingwood, Texas.
“In 2022, some employers chose to forgo holiday bonuses out of concerns about a recession,” he said.
Monica Martin, senior director of integrated and global solutions and total rewards leader at WTW, agreed that while holiday bonuses are not as widespread as they once were, “there’s a recognition that it’s been a tough year financially for employees because of inflation and rising interest rates.”
As a result, Martin said, employers are thinking not only about potential bonuses, but also about different kinds of financial support they might be able to offer, such as access to financial advisors or education on better spending habits.
“It may not be so much new programs," she said, "but it’s about, ‘How do we activate what we already have and make sure employees know that they have it—know that they have access to it and how to use it well?’ ”
Salary Increase Projections for 2024
While the bonus picture for 2024 isn’t clear yet—organizations primarily hand out bonuses at the end of the year—salary increases for the year are coming into focus. Wage growth is expected to meet or surpass inflation for the first time since 2020. The International Monetary Fund projects lower inflation for the U.S. at around 2.8 percent, and employers are budgeting for pay increases of between 3.8 percent and 4 percent, according to various projections.
Although healthy salary increases are on tap, Ruth Thomas, pay equity strategist at Payscale, said workers are still experiencing the burden of persistent high costs of living. Pay increases “will start to close the gap—if only by a little,” she said.
“Workers still feel the burden of higher prices, contributing to tensions on growing wealth inequality and potential unrest,” Thomas explained. “Employers should ensure pay increases remain strong and consider salary adjustments to keep up with market changes to avoid turnover from employees seeking better pay.”