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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Another Wall Street Giant Wants a Piece of Sports

  • JPMorgan Chase forms a new team devoted to sports deals.
  • The company already isn’t a stranger to brokering team and facility agreements.
Manchester United stadium Old Trafford as viewed from above.
MUFC

Another financial services giant can’t get enough of sports, and it is also expanding its operation to have a much larger presence in the industry.

Six months after Goldman Sachs created a unit devoted to sports franchises, Wall Street rival JPMorgan Chase is forming its own investment banking team focused on sports. The new “sports investment banking coverage group” will also provide advisory and financing solutions for efforts such as buying into teams. 

The investment bank’s moves arrive amid several ongoing shifts within sports: an increased willingness among leagues to allow for institutional investment, a rising interest in sports by high-net-worth individuals as an additional asset class, and continually soaring team values around the world in both men’s and women’s sports.

“With top sports franchises in the U.S. and Europe now valued at more than $400 billion in total, sports have become an increasingly large asset class, attracting more and more institutional investors,” wrote Fred Turpin, JPMorgan global head of media and communications investment banking, in a memo to company staff. 

The new group will be led by Eric Menell and Gian Piero Sammartano.

Been Here Before

Even before this structural move, though, JPMorgan was hardly a stranger to sports. It has already been involved in numerous team and stadium deals, including Jim Ratcliffe’s recent purchase of a minority equity stake and operational control of the Premier League’s Manchester United (above). It also was previously tangled in the bankruptcy of Diamond Sports Group. 

Many U.S. firms previously working on sports deals, however, have frequently pulled in personnel from other functional teams.

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