Aser Ventures’ Massimo Marinelli joined Al Guido (President of the San Francisco 49ers and Chairman of Elevate Sports Ventures), Michael Spirito (Managing Director at Sapphire Ventures) and Colin Neville (The Raine Group) to discuss investment opportunities in sport during Covid-19 and beyond, on Thursday.
The latest episode of Talking Sport – powered by Eleven Sports and World Football Summit- was titled Investment opportunities in sport – Fighting back from Covid-19’ and is available to watch back here. The session was moderated by Chad Biagini (Nolan Partners) and David Garrido (Sky Sports News) was the presenter. Key take outs from the session included:
Massimo Marinelli, on the difference between the short-term and the long-term:
“Ultimately, when we look at sports and the reason we like sports, it’s that it is an underdeveloped asset class. It would be irrational to say there hasn’t been a short-term impact, at least in some parts of sport. With our assets - if you think of Leeds United not being able to host home game then it’s going to have an impact on revenue. So, those short-term impacts will be there. But, with the opportunities in the sector, we remain very confident that this is absolutely a good space to be. In fact, this creates opportunities.”
Al Guido, on the opportunities for buyers and his experience in 2008:
“I think there are opportunities for buyers out there right now. I’m a buyer of sport. I mean, our content has never been more needed than it is now. If you love sports then think about your day and your life as it stands today. Any sport that they put on is getting record ratings. Anybody that watched ‘The Last Dance’ with Michael Jordan, look at the engagement levels for that. If you look at how 72% of brands still want to extend sports sponsorships. If you look at all these content companies, if they didn’t have sports then what would they be? I worked for the Dallas Cowboys from 2007 to 2009, which was probably the worst time arguably in the world, and we broke a ton of revenue records. Does that happen right away? Probably not. But, I think that if you have dry powder and you love sports there will be opportunities out there for people and I just believe that fans will come back.”
Colin Neville, on the ‘buyer’s market’:
“This will be a buyer’s market without a doubt, especially on the football side. Especially with player transfer revenue and a lot of the streams that clubs relied on, that won’t be there for the near term. So, I think this is a great buying opportunity. I still believe in the long-term potential of these clubs, and you have to think of them as long-term potential. But, as always when you go through situations like we are in right now, the strong typically get stronger. So, yeah, I think it’s a great opportunity to be out there.”
Michael Spirito, on the opportunity for growing women’s sport:
“I’m seeing more focus on women’s athletics than ever. Look at the Athletes Unlimited platform that’s recently been launched by a friend of all of ours, Jon Patricof. From an activity perspective, I think I’ve never seen more activity around it. As we move, from the consumption culture perspective, to a more one-on-one and personalised and technology-driven consumption pattern, that opens up more channels through which we can connect.”
The next episode of ‘Talking Sport’ will take place next Thursday, June 18th, and the topic then will be ‘What lies ahead for global sports?’. Another group of experts will provide their insight on that topic and it’s already possible to register here.