Welcome to the new, digital-only version of Sportcal Insight magazine.
Multi-million dollar investments in sporting institutions are nothing new. The story of the local businessman buying the local team knows no geographical bounds.
But it is institutional money that is now dominating the picture, as the rapidly-changing media landscape entices private equity firms and hedge funds.
Their journey to prominence and close links to some of the biggest sporting properties is analysed in depth.
It was undeniably private investors that kept Major League Soccer afloat in the tough early years. A quarter of a century on, it is North America’s bona fide fifth professional sports league, with all commercial indicators pointing towards further growth as the region readies itself for the Fifa World Cup in 2026.
We spoke to three of the original MLS workforce as the league celebrates turning 25.
The NBA’s charm offensive on Europe took a new twist in January, with the first regular-season game in Paris, a date traditionally reserved for London. We caught up with Ralph Rivera, the NBA’s man in Europe, to discuss the importance of the continent to the league.
Paris is also our chosen global sports city with the French capital beginning to lay the foundations for the 2024 Olympics. And it’s not just about the actual live event, as Paris, with the French government’s full backing, positions itself as a business-tech-sports hub.
Elsewhere, we analyse the sponsorship ecosystem of the esports industry, as non-endemic brands ramp up their activity, and throw the spotlight on the business of the NFL Super Bowl after the Kansas City Chiefs ended their 50 year wait for the Vince Lombardi trophy. Another celebratory milestone in US sport.
I hope you enjoy the issue.