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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Saudi’s PIF Aims Higher With Launch of Sports-Focused Investment Company

  • SRJ Sports Investments will initially focus on growth in Saudi Arabia and MENA.
  • The PIF has already invested billions in LIV Golf, Formula 1, and English soccer.
The PGA Tour and PIF have a self-imposed Dec. 31 deadline to finalize their golf merger.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is taking the next step toward becoming an even bigger player in the business of sports. 

The PIF announced the formation and launch of SRJ Sports Investments, a sports investment company that aims to accelerate the growth of the sector in Saudi Arabia and MENA.

Reports of the PIF’s plan for a multibillion-dollar sports-focused entity emerged last month in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s bombshell agreement with the PGA Tour. Beyond LIV Golf, the PIF also has investments in Newcastle United, Formula 1, and its domestic soccer competition, the Saudi Pro League.

The PIF’s initial announcement didn’t say how much funding SRJ would start with or confirm whether its current sports ties will now fall under the new entity. There was also no mention of global sports investments beyond Saudi Arabia and MENA. 

Saudi Arabia will host the 2029 Asian Winter games and has considered bids for the 2030 Winter Olympics and 2036 FIFA World Cup.

Recently, the PIF has been in the news for holding discussions with the ATP Tour about getting involved in men’s tennis and for meeting with the R&A at last month’s Open Championship, its first inroads with an organizer of a men’s major golf championship.

The NBA, NHL, and MLS all allow investments from sovereign wealth funds — so there would theoretically be nothing stopping SRJ from buying a minority stake in one of those leagues’ teams, as the Qatar Investment Authority did with Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

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