TLA staged the first New Zealand All Blacks game in the USA for 34 years. (Source: Getty)
Athlete representation and sports marketing business TLA Worldwide recorded a grand slam set of results for 2014, with growth scored in revenue, profit and earnings per share.
The Aim-listed company, which manages leading athletes, events and leagues in sports including baseball, golf, rugby, American football, cricket and football, reported a 12 per cent increase in revenue to $20.8m (£14.17m) from $18.6m in 2013.
Profit before tax jumped 26 per cent to $8.6m while earnings per share grew by around 15 per cent to 4.76 cents per share.
The results mean that since it floated on AIM in 2011, the company has delivered 17 per cent compound annual growth.
The group’s client base has since swelled from 474 to 700 following the $19.5m purchase of Elite Sports Properties (ESP) - bringing Olympians such as Becky Adlington and Sir Chris Hoy into its roster.
In 2015, TLA forecasts continued double-digit growth as “global spending on sports increases at above GDP growth rates”.
Why it’s interesting
TLA has gone global. The company, which has 10 locations worldwide, is not limited to one particular market or a few familiar sports.
Its expansion beyond its established long-term relationships with US sports such as Major League Baseball was evidenced in recent months through the staging of the first New Zealand All Blacks vs USA Rugby on American soil for 34 years, the securing of a four-year deal to co-promote the International Champions Cup
(featuring Manchester City and Real Madrid) in Australia and the purchase of ESP which brought with it rights to the 2015 Cricket and Rugby World Cups.
What TLA said
"With the proliferation of different viewing mediums, sport is more accessible than it ever has been", chief executive Michael J. Principe told City AM when asked about TLA's expansion across the globe.
"Physical international barriers are breaking down but sports still need to connect with the local population. For example, the All Blacks sell out in Chicago...I think it connected very well there and rugby as a sport connects very well in the US."
Does the global sports industry still have room for further growth? Is the sweeping sponsorship interest in sport sustainable? Principe is sure of it.
"GLA with ESP is a broader-based business. It’s a stronger company but we are going to be select with the new businesses that we expand into with a particular focus on long-term recurring revenue. We will be opportunistic as we continue to grow.
"As long as sport continues to hold that visceral place in a fan’s mind… it’s fairly incapable of being time shifted. Nothing compares to watching sports live and the dollars will continue to grow. Advertisers now recognise the power of sports."
Looking for evidence of the global growth in the sports industry? TLA Worldwide’s latest results might be just what you were seeking.