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Goldman Sachs establishes global sports franchise division

New unit will pitch clients on investing in sports teams, leagues and stadiums.

18 September 2023 Josh Sim
Goldman Sachs has created a sports franchise unit.

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  • Greg Carey and Dave Dase to co-lead new division
  • Goldman was previously involved in the sales of Chelsea and Formula One

Banking giant Goldman Sachs is creating a global sports franchise division as interest in sports team investment continues to grow.

The new unit combines Goldman’s sports mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and sports financing operations, which will work with the firm’s asset and wealth management team to pitch clients on investing in teams, stadiums, and leagues. Sports media, entertainment and technology properties are also a focus for the new division.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which first reported the news, added that Goldman will pitch clients on possible team acquisitions in some cases, having previously worked on the sale of Formula One and English soccer giants Chelsea.

Greg Carey, chairman of Goldman’s public sector and infrastructure group, and Dave Dase, head of the southeast region of the firm’s investment banking division in the US, will lead the new entity.

In addition, Elis Jones will focus on the division’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Mike Kenworthy will be tasked with handling business in the Americas, while Stacy Sonnenberg will continue leading the financing side. All three are to report to Carey and Dase on sports-related matters.

Sports franchises are becoming an increasingly popular target for investors, with private equity magnate Josh Harris leading a group that bought the National Football League’s (NFL) Washington Commanders for a record US$6.05 billion earlier this year.

North American leagues have also been more open to private investment, with the National Basketball Association (NBA) recently opening up franchise investment to pension and sovereign wealth funds.

Outside of North America, alternative investment firm 777 Partners has agreed a deal to buy Premier League club Everton. Private equity firms such as CVC Capital Partners and Silver Lake have also made a string of investments across various sports properties.

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