Owners Box: Club Member Newsletter - February 16th
Miami Dolphins may be forced into sale, WNBA completes 'historic' capital raise from Nike & others, French football needs €622M to survive, and DeChambeau denies Saudi-backed Super Golf League offer
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Recent Sports M&A News and Developments
Stephen Ross in real danger of having to sell Dolphins after Brian Flores accusations - New York Post - February 14th, 2022
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross could be forced to sell the team if he is found to have incentivized losing, as former head coach Brian Flores alleges in a lawsuit.
The league’s investigation into Flores’ claim — made in the lawsuit where he alleges racism in NFL hiring practices and a “sham” interview conducted by the Giants — has just begun, but commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear last week that violating the competitive integrity of the game “won’t be tolerated.”
The discipline could be up to and including the other team owners voting Ross out of the league, according to an NFL Network report citing sources. A three-fourths vote would be required, the report states.
Arctos Buying Minority Stake in Elevate Sports Ventures - Front Office Sports - February 11th, 2022
The private equity firm is nearing a deal to purchase a minority stake in the business, according to people familiar with the deal, who were granted anonymity because the details are private. Arctos will join current partners Oak View Group, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the San Francisco 49ers, and Live Nation (NYSE: LYV).
The Players Company DAO Set to ‘Reimagine’ Athletes’ Finances - yahoo!sports - February 10th, 2022
According to UBS, 78% of former NFL players will find themselves in financial distress within two years of retirement. Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Richard Sherman, Cleveland Browns DT Sheldon Day and retired WR Amir Carlisle have embarked on a mission to change that. In 2021, the trio launched The Players Company (TPC) with the intention of fixing what they say is a broken system.
Now, backed by 45 professional athletes (including 49ers DE Dee Ford, Bengals DE Sam Hubbard and former MLB star Torii Hunter), TPC is putting the final touches on the Web3 infrastructure that will support its vision for a “social wealth club.” Next month, TPC will rollout a gamified, digital banking and education application and formally introduce The Players Company DAO—a community that will exist to “educate, build and promote collaboration on the journey to wealth,” Carlisle said.
WNBA, Teams Valued At $1B Following Capital Raise - Front Office Sports - February 3rd, 2022
The WNBA and its teams are now valued at $1 billion following a historic capital raise of $75 million.
The league billed the raise as the biggest ever for a “women’s sports property.” It includes a roster of A-list investors from the basketball community, as well as the worlds of business and politics.
The funds will go toward “human capital and operational optimization,” marketing and growing the fanbase, merchandise strategy, and the globalization of the league.
Part of the raise was a “significant equity investment” from Nike.
Investors with NBA and WNBA ties include Joe and Clara Wu Tsai, Pau Gasol, and Swin Cash.
Other investors include former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Laurene Powell Jobs.
DeChambeau says report he's been offered $135 million to join Super Golf League is 'wrong' - Golf Digest - February 3rd, 2022
Bryson DeChambeau has been offered $135 million to join the Saudi-backed Super Golf League, according to a report from Sportsmail. It's a deal that DeChambeau denied was true on Instagram on Thursday.
Though other player offers have begun to emerge from the still-to-be-launched global circuit—highlighted by Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson reportedly weighing $30 million proposals—DeChambeau’s alleged number is by far the highest figure to leak thus far. It also comes as non-disclosure agreements are reportedly being signed with the SGL; Lee Westwood admitted to signing an NDA during a Wednesday press conference at the Saudi International while Dustin Johnson echoed Westwood’s response when asked about receiving an offer.
Ligue 1 Needs €622M a Year to Survive - GetFrenchFootballNews - January 18th, 2022
So Foot report that the LFP must achieve a new broadcast deal worth €622m a year or else Ligue 1 will go bust. This amount would represent a 46% decrease on the broadcasting deal negotiated with Mediapro and Canal + in 2018, which was worth €1.15bn a year. This 2018 deal has of course collapsed following the former firm’s refusal to meet its contractual obligations leading to the termination of that agreement in December.
Dijon President Olivier Delcourt explained to Eurosport: “If nothing is done, we cannot go again in summer. [We’ve] eaten up all our reserves and all the money we accumulated over seven years.”
Bankruptcy for Ligue 1 is close and a solution needs to rapidly be found. Dijon are not alone – a third of all Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs are on the verge of bankruptcy, per French football’s financial watchdog the DNCG, as they have been victims of the health and economic crisis that has been raging for the last 10 months.
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