Goldman Sachs has recently launched a new sports franchise unit with the goal of assisting its ultra-wealthy clients in investing in the sports industry. This includes investing in sports teams across all major sports, as well as sports-related businesses such as sports media and technology companies. The firm’s spokesperson confirmed this development on September 19th.
In a memo sent to staff on September 15th, it was noted that there has been a significant increase in capital seeking to invest in the sports industry. This heightened interest has prompted Goldman Sachs to establish the new unit within its investment banking division.
Heading the new unit are Dave Dase and Greg Carey, who will both retain their current positions in addition to their roles in the sports franchise unit. Dase is the head of the Southeast region in the US for Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division, while Carey serves as the chairman of the public sector and infrastructure group.
Goldman Sachs is not new to sports deals, as the firm has been increasingly involved in helping clients negotiate deals within the sports industry. This includes assisting in British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe’s ongoing bid for the Manchester United football team, as well as the joint $5.1 billion purchase of Chelsea FC by U.S. businessman Todd Boehly and private equity firm Clearlake Capital last year.
Carey, who specializes in infrastructure, possesses significant expertise in financing sports projects. He has successfully negotiated numerous stadium financing deals for various professional sports teams, such as the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Vikings.
Three managing directors from Goldman Sachs – Elis Jones, Stacy Sonnenberg, and Mike Kenworthy – will also join the new unit and report to Carey and Dase. Jones will focus on Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Kenworthy will concentrate on the Americas, and Sonnenberg will oversee global business.
This announcement follows closely after the National Football League (NFL) revealed the formation of a committee tasked with reassessing its ownership rules. Currently, private equity, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds are barred from investing in NFL teams, but this committee aims to evaluate and potentially revise those regulations.