June 19, 2024


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Venture Capital Investments in Sports and Entertainment

The venture capital funding world has entered a new sector – this is the always changing sector of Sports and Entertainment. Investments in the entertainment world have been around for a few years already, like the enormous $100 Million investment in the Da Vinci Code film in 2005. And (in a humoristic way) if we remember the book “The Godfather”, also there we can find an “investment” in the famous singer Johnny Fontane, a godson of Corleone’s, who has come from Hollywood to ask the Godfather’s help in getting a movie role that will revitalize his flagging career. Jack Woltz, the head of the studio, will not give Fontane the part, but Don Corleone (The Godfather) explains to Johnny: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

The costs estimates for creating and marketing a film, given by http://www.imdb.com, the 2005 average marketing cost of $36 million a film. (Marketing costs may be higher for larger films but in many cases sponsors help settle these costs.) the calculation for what the return is from an investment in a film includes the factor that a studio naturally gets the proceeds from approximately half the tickets sold at the USA box office, and the overall take from the box office is roughly one-third of the money a studio earns after a film has gone to play overseas and becomes a DVD or movie on pay TV.

The new sector of sports investments is receiving millions of dollars. Recent investments in sports goods producers and distributors include an investment of $68 Million committed by Allied Capital Corporation to support the buyout of Augusta Sportswear Group by private equity firm Quad-C Management. Augusta was founded in 1977, and is among the largest suppliers of blank athletic uniforms in the U.S. The company sells over 52,000 SKUs of team uniforms, athletic apparel, outerwear and school-inspired products to over 40,000 customers, consisting of uniform suppliers, custom decorators and promotional products distributors.

Another recent investment is of $2 Million in Golf Club Maker Nickent in Equity Investment. “We are pleased to announce this investment in Nickent,” commented Anthony Moore, Co-Chairman and President of Equus and Chairman of Nickent. “This, combined with our debt financing in June, positions the Fund to receive dual benefits of current income and potential capital gains. We look forward to working with Nickent and its experienced management team.”

Nickent is a market leader in the rapidly expanding, hybrid club segment of the golf industry and is an emerging leader in game-enhancement technology.

All these investments are happening now. One last example is Seatwave. Seatwave, Europe’s largest fan-to-fan ticket exchange, is an online marketplace for buying and selling tickets for theatre, sports, music and other live events. Seatwave recently announced it has raised $25 million in Series C funding led by Fidelity Ventures. Fidelity Ventures is joined by existing investors Atlas Venture, Mangrove Capital Partners and Adinvest. Seatwave was launched in 2007 and has more than 500,000 tickets on sale at any given time, 25 times more than eBay.