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Ares Doubling Down on Sports with $1.5B Fund

  • Ares Capital Management is raising money for a $1.5 billion fund focused on sports, media and entertainment.
  • The investment firm has already poured $1 billion into sports this year.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

Ares Capital Management has invested over $1 billion in sports this year. Now it’s looking to more than double that figure.

The Los Angeles-based investment firm controlling $239 billion in assets laid out plans for a $1.5 billion sports, media, and entertainment fund. Ares has put in $100 million into the fund and is raising the remaining $1.4 billion. 

Ares’ co-founders are both team owners: Chairman Tony Ressler owns the Atlanta Hawks, and partner Bennett Rosenthal is co-managing owner of Major League Soccer’s LAFC. 

With leagues and teams seeking to shore up pandemic-battered balance sheets, the firm has followed the lead of its founders

  • Ares has a minority stake in Atlético de Madrid.
  • It bought around $100 million in debt from the San Diego Padres in March as part of the team’s $350 million capital raise.
  • It secured credit facilities for the Ottawa Senators, Rugby Australia, and Professional Fighters League.
  • It supplied a $100 million credit line to support Rawlings’ acquisition of Easton Diamond Sports in March.
  • It participated in a $12.6 million Series A round for Meadowlark Media in April. 

The fund’s advisory board will reportedly be made up of former ESPN president John Skipper, former NBA player and Hawks’ co-owner Grant Hill, former MLB player Mark Teixiera, Snapchat chairman Michael Lynton, Penske Motor Group CEO Greg Penske, and executive chairman of Sportsology Mike Forde.

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