CVC-Backed United Rugby Championship Rebrand Rolls On

    • CVC Capital Partners is continuing to invest in sports.
    • The private equity firm has added to its growing portfolio.

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The United Rugby Championship is taking steps to grow its fan base after rebranding from Pro14 last month.

On Wednesday, the URC enlisted Roc Nation — the entertainment agency founded by Jay-Z — for strategic consulting on creative initiatives aimed at broadening the league’s appeal.

Luxembourg-based private equity firm CVC Capital Partners purchased a 28% stake in the URC last year for $169 million.

The URC is one of the many sports-related moves CVC has made in the last year.

  • Invested $300 million in the International Volleyball Federation in February
  • Purchased a stake in Six Nations Rugby in May — a five-year deal worth up to $509 million
  • In talks regarding a $600 million deal that would merge the ATP and WTA
  • Currently seeking to acquire a stake in the Currie Cup, South Africa’s premier rugby union

Despite CVC’s flurry of new ventures, some efforts have been subject to criticism.

Seven Serie A teams asked their president, Paolo Dal Pino, to step down following his proposed deal with a private consortium that included CVC. The deal would’ve given up a 10% stake in the soccer league’s media company for $2 billion.

Bundesliga teams voted to suspend talks with private investors for the league’s international media rights. CVC was part of the group looking to purchase 25% of a new $2.4 billion media company that would hold the rights.