Goldman Sachs will soon offer their clients the ability to buy into pro teams, the latest development in a growing industry push to find new ways to keep up with rising franchise values.
A newly created division of the financial services giant called Sports Franchise in Investment Banking, co-led by Goldman Sachs executives Greg Carey and Dave Dase, will provide extremely wealthy clients with the opportunity to invest not only in teams but also other entities in sports and entertainment. The effort also combines Goldman Sachs’ prior activities in sports mergers and acquisitions and in sports financing.
The division will focus on the “global sports ecosystem across all major sports, including federations, leagues, franchises, and clubs, as well as sports media, entertainment, and tech businesses,” according to an internal memo seen by the U.K.’s Financial News.
It is unclear which teams or other assets will be immediately available to firm clients. Goldman Sachs has been active in numerous major transactions, including sales of the Premier League’s Chelsea, Formula 1, and a minority stake in the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
The effort, however, is designed to allow investors a clearer path to fast-growing interest in sports-related investments. Franchise values have escalated to the point where a variety of alternative measures for team ownership and investment are increasingly being considered.
Most recently, the NFL is reviewing its traditional ownership rules, and several other pro leagues allowed the introduction of private equity and sovereign wealth funds into ownership.
International ownership has also grown, as Saudi Arabia’s PIF has invested heavily in sports in the U.S. and elsewhere, and the Qatar Investment Authority became an investor in Monumental Sports, parent company of the Washington Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics, earlier this year.