SportBusiness at Sportel Rendez-Vous Miami: Private equity investing in sport

SportBusiness invites you to a Masterclass at Sportel Rendez-Vous Miami on Tuesday, May 9, at 9.50am local time. 

Sport’s primary assets – clubs and competitions – have proven highly attractive to private equity firms over recent years.

Private equity has enjoyed great success from institutional investment in sport, with CVC’s exit from Formula One in 2017 and more recently Elliott Management’s sale of Serie A giant AC Milan both yielding strong returns.

With a panel drawn from all sides of the equation, SportBusiness will be asking why private equity is so keen on sports and what to expect next.

The question will be put first to Iris I. Alameddine, vice president at the Raine Group, which has made multiple major investments in sport, such as in the Premier Lacrosse League. Raine has also advised on sales of clubs and franchises, such as Silver Lake taking a stake in Manchester City in 2019, last year’s hotly contested sale of Chelsea, and this year’s process with Manchester United.

Bobby Sharma, founder and managing partner, Bluestone Equity Partners, is also ideally positioned to inform the audience on private equity investment in sport. Sharma has spent his career building value for and investing in sports properties, and has a keen understanding of the way that sports bodies think through his work with the NBA, the USTA, USA Archery, and others.

Laura Andriani, senior vice president consulting, Two Circles, meanwhile, has deep experience in creating value for sports on the marketing side, with a particular interest in creating engaging fan experiences.

This exceptional panel will also drill down into what private equity investment in sport means specifically for broadcasters during a period of rapid technological change with shifting consumer behaviours.

We’ll take stock of where the world of sport – and the markets – find themselves now at this critical juncture. What has applied in the past few years might not apply any longer. We are facing very different macroeconomic conditions: higher interest rates, less money in ordinary sports fans’ pockets, and generally more financial uncertainty.

For a detailed analysis of private equity investments across sport, our new report ‘Selling the Future? Private Equity’s Role in Sport’ is available to buy now.  The report provides a current view of the market to understand why there has been a recent influx of investment, as well as case studies analysing the investments to assess the commercial performance and growth potential in media and sponsorship.


Much was made over the pandemic about sport’s robustness and durability, but is it fully recession proof? And given the challenges laid out above, will private equity firms continue to see sport as an attractive proposition? Following on from this, the panel will explore if private equity might focus more on a particular area in the coming years, at the expense of others.

We’ll also explore the threats and concerns from the perspective of other stakeholders. There are those who warn that sport is storing up long-term pain for short-term gain in its embrace of private equity. The panel will look at how leagues and governing bodies should mitigate against potential issues arising from PE investment.

Indeed, massive sporting properties such as the NFL and the NBA already restrict the amount of institutional investment in franchises. Meanwhile, in LaLiga, a major global brand such as Barcelona has sold stakes in its commercial rights though not, as yet, equity in the overall club. The panel will delve into the level that leagues and governing bodies should mitigate against potential issues arising from private equity investment.

With so many investments, ranging from football to volleyball to Indian Premier League cricket teams, we’ll also ask the panel which areas might be somewhat under the radar but ripe for private equity involvement. Where should the smart money go next? Is there a case that niche sports, perhaps even e-sports, offer the best long-term returns at the moment?

The panel also includes time for a question-and-answer session – so come along to share your views and enquire further on the present and future of private equity investment in sport.



Imran Yusuf, Editor, SportBusiness Media


Iris Alameddine, Investor & Advisor, THE RAINE GROUP

Bobby Sharma, Founder & Managing Partner, BLUESTONE EQUITY PARTNERS

Laura Andriani, Senior Vice President Consulting, TWO CIRCLES