Manchester City partners with international clubs in new venture
The company behind Premier League champions Manchester City has joined several leading international franchises and organisation in a new venture capital fund.
City Football Group is the anchor investor in Sapphire Sport, a new $115 million sport venture capital fund launched by Sapphire Ventures.
Other investors in the fund, which expects to make between five and six investments each year of between $3m and $7m, include sportswear giant Adidas and the owners of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers of the NFL and the NHL’s San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning.
“Challenging the conventional approach is at the heart of our ethos at City Football Group,” said CFG chief executive Ferran Soriano.
“Investing in Sapphire Sport, a first-of-its-kind fund, is a natural extension of our original global model, which pairs teams in six countries and five continents with football related businesses, which help drive our growth and success.”
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The fund’s existing portfolio includes at-home fitness system Tonal, live streaming platform mycujoo, digital sports network Overtime, social commerce solution firm Fevo and gaming studio Phoenix Labs.
Doug Higgins, the managing director and co-founder of the fund, said: "Venture capitalists need to continue to reinvent and innovate in order to stay relevant.
"We created Sapphire Sport to serve as a preeminent investment vehicle in a nascent and dynamic sector where technology investment experience is in increasingly high demand.
“In partnership with some of the most innovative team owners and sporting brands in the world, we are bringing Sapphire Ventures' investment experience to the global sport marketplace."