Thursday December 7, 2023

Activist Investor Calls to End F1 and Man U Deals

  • Petrus believes the deals are too expensive and show “appalling judgment.”
  • The firm holds a stake smaller than 3% in TeamViewer.
Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo stares into crowd during game
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An activist investor has called on a tech company to end its sponsorship deals with two of the most recognizable brands in sports.

Investment firm Petrus Advisers has asked software giant TeamViewer AG to end its deals with the Premier League’s Manchester United and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. 

  • Petrus believes the deals are too expensive and show “appalling judgment.”
  • The firm holds a stake smaller than 3% in TeamViewer.
  • It vowed not to tolerate TeamViewer spending more than $73 million on the deals. 

In March 2021, TeamViewer secured a five-year shirt sponsorship deal with Man U, replacing Chevrolet in a pact worth $57 million annually. It was one of the most expensive shirt deals in soccer behind Liverpool’s $59 million-per-year deal with British bank Standard Chartered

In August, TeamViewer decided not to renew its deal with Man U after it expires in 2026, as the company has lost 80% of its market value since the pact after a peak of $10.3 billion in 2020.  

TeamViewer is expected to spend “millions” on its five-year deal with Mercedes’ F1 team. 

Cutting Crypto 

Last week, Mercedes’ F1 team suspended its multiyear sponsorship deal with FTX after the cryptocurrency exchange — along with over 130 affiliated companies — filed for bankruptcy.

Mercedes joined the Miami Heat and esports organization TSM as sports-related entities who temporarily or permanently severed ties with the controversial crypto exchange.

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