An international web, stretching from Japan to the United States via Manchester, with threads covering the whole of Europe, all the way to Abu Dhabi. This is the network of international investments in the world of sport presented by Prof. Simon Chadwick and Mathematical Economists Paul Weddup on the site Asia Pacific Policy Association.
The researchers’ goal is to show how the biggest clubs in the world of sports can be included in one huge network, the main hubs of which are a few very rich private investment funds.
The analysis begins with operations SoftbankA Japanese holding company that supported Japan in organizing the Olympic and Paralympic Games. By analyzing Softbank’s relationships and investments, one comes across the link with Silver Lake, which is an American investment fund, a link from which two primary considerations emerge.
First, both companies have invested in China Ali Baba, a company that has in turn invested in sports through UEFA and FIFA sponsorship deals, and through partial ownership of Chinese club Guangzhou Zuqiu Julebu.
Second, Silver Lake and Softbank invested in fanatics. The latter, an American company engaged in online sales of the sports trade sector, is headquartered in the United Kingdom in Manchester, a few kilometers from the headquarters of Manchester City.
An investment like any other, which would not stand out in the analysis were it not for a great deal of detail: a few months before the deal, the US private equity firm acquired 10% of the City football group, for $500 million; This, coincidentally, has now been revalued to €4.4 billion.
The “joint” investments between Softbank and Silver Lake do not end there. Both companies own a share of quest, the talent agency that also represents the NFL, Euroleague for basketball and the UFC, is among the richest and most profitable leagues on the planet.
And throughout the network, famous names from the world of sports constantly appear: Bavaria MonacoAnd New York KnicksAnd real Madrid And many other things. Each of them is partly owned or otherwise engaged in sponsorship or other business activities with companies directly related to Softbank or Silver Lake.
According to the researchers, what is most surprising and perhaps unknown to most fans around the world is how globally the sport is now owned by private investment firms.
So, apparently, gone are the days when sports clubs were owned by charitable, community-conscious local investors, and large state broadcasters monopolized sports television coverage for the benefit of society as a whole.
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