In the last decade, examples of private equity investment in sport have been relatively sporadic and isolated. Aside from the largest and most notable sports properties and brands, the sector has been viewed with caution by investors; likewise, leaders of sports businesses, attempting to balance the desire to grow their sport against the need to respect the idiosyncrasies of the game, have viewed external investment with caution.

Over the last 18 months, however, there has been a notable shift in activity and appetite on both sides of the field: investors and sports entities are increasingly looking for innovative ways to partner and accelerate towards transformative growth. In recent months, this activity has grown as both sides identify opportunities to both weather the shorter-term challenges posed by the pandemic and to position themselves to enter the new normal stronger.

It is in this context that we are delighted to release this joint paper examining the relationship between PE and sport. Drawing on the experience of The Sports Consultancy and BDO advising leaders in sport and finance, we address the three key questions for either party when approaching an investment:

– why is now the right time for PE and sport to team up?
– what are the peculiarities of the sports industry to be aware of and what are the fundamentals that need to be in place for a successful investment?
– how should deals be structured to achieve the objectives of both sides?

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