From NHL owner Bill Foley agreeing to buy Bournemouth to AC Milan‘s marriage with RedBird, Everton‘s with the Soros, and Chelsea‘s with Todd Boehly, the last 12 months have been jammed with headlines from European sports deals with Northern American investors.
Data from PitchBook shows the global PE volume in sports properties this year has been close to 2021, with Q4 still to go.
Why are investors and European sports properties so interested in working with each other — and why now?
To understand those questions and identify the diverse challenges and implications of these deals, we spoke to Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sport and Geopolitical Economy at Skema Business School, and with Phelan Hill, Head of Consulting, West Region, at Nielsen Sports.
The biggest challenge in the marriage between American capital and European sports might be the cultural contrast in how stakeholders from the different regions approach the industry. But the sports industry is evolving and will require collaboration from both regions to maximize its potential.
European sports will look to generate profits following the American approach without harming the ethos of a long-standing culture based on conservative purity and authenticity.
American PE institutions and wealthy individuals will keep looking for stakes in European clubs while trading at a relative discount.
However — similar to most investments — there are risks involved. Teams still need to win, and prices and valuations may keep dropping or may take way longer than expected to grow.
Still, the marriage between the American capital and European sports seems like a practical solution during these turbulent times.
Want to learn more? Check out the full PE report here.