SportBusiness International

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US sports business giants team up in new venture

US sports business giants team up in new venture

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By: SportBusiness International team

24 Jan 2018
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Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and NFL American football franchise the San Francisco 49ers have today (Wednesday) joined forces to launch a new venture that aims to seek out fresh revenue opportunities in the global stadium and ticketing market.

Elevate Sports Ventures will aim to provide innovative solutions to organisations across the global sports and entertainment marketplace. The company will offer a suite of services in areas including stadium licenses, premium ticketing and corporate hospitality. 

Sports industry veteran and president of the 49ers, Al Guido, will serve as chief executive and managing partner of Elevate Sports Ventures. HBSE chief executive Scott O’Neil joins CAA Sports’ co-heads Howard Nuchow and Michael Levine, and CAA Sports’ global head of sales Paul Danforth, as co-managing partners. The company will have offices in Silicon Valley, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York and London.

Guido said: “Our collective services and global experience working with teams, leagues, brands, colleges, venues, and owners will provide decision-makers with a full-service partner to identify new revenue opportunities and bring innovative ideas to market.” 

American sports moguls Josh Harris and David Blitzer formed HBSE in September to consolidate their multiple sporting properties and seek out new investment opportunities. HBSE includes in its portfolio NBA basketball franchise the Philadelphia 76ers, NHL ice hockey team the New Jersey Devils and its Prudential Center home arena. HBSE also includes London-based English Premier League football club Crystal Palace, of which Harris and Blitzer became co-owners in December 2015, as well as leading esports franchise Team Dignitas.

After leading record-setting sponsorship and premium seating sales campaigns that enabled the construction of Levi’s Stadium in 2014, the 49ers have developed a reputation as one of the most innovative and diverse business operations in sport.

During its lifetime, Levi’s Stadium has hosted more major events than any other venue in North America while also maintaining a multi-faceted private events business that activates the stadium on a daily basis year-round. The 49ers have also developed industry-leading practices in business strategy and analytics, stadium sustainability, and youth education.

While CAA is best known for representing artists working in film, television, music, theatre, video games, and digital content, it also has global operations encompassing 17 divisions, including brand consulting, media rights and sports properties for sales/sponsorships. 

O’Neil said: “We’ve reached a pivotal moment in the rapidly changing sports and entertainment landscape. The risk, competition and opportunity have never been greater. Elevate Sports Ventures assembles the industry’s leaders in business innovation, revenue generation and venue development; offering brands, teams, leagues and entertainment properties the opportunity to access world-leading expertise and a vast professional network. 

“In our partners, CAA and the San Francisco 49ers, we share the drive to innovate, desire to use our expertise to strengthen the sports and entertainment ecosystem, and aspiration to use our extraordinary platform to work with partners who have the same DNA.”

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