Sophisticated investors in the UK are being encouraged to back sport businesses using a new online platform that puts them in front of a range of unquoted companies in the sector.
Sports Investment Partners (SIP), the private equity firm founded by former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton, has teamed up with corporate finance adviser Envestors to launch a new investment platform specifically for sport.
The online platform will put sport sector companies with annual turnover in excess of £250,000 and a pre-money valuation between £2m and £5m in front of investors prepared to invest anything between £25,000 and £10m.
"Sport is a fast-growing sector," Sir Martin told City A.M.
"There's masses of sports on TV and there's always more with the likes of BT Sport and Sky Sports looking for content. So that creates growth opportunities for businesses supplying technology or services to sport whether that's professional or amateur sport.
"It's a big area of interest in terms of a growing industry with lots of business opportunities."
Investors will be able to use the Envestry platform to register their interest in certain companies and manage their investments.
Companies will be charged an £8,000 fee and a six per cent commission on all investments they receive and leverage SIP's experience and contacts in the industry to grow their business.
Sir Martin negotiated the sale of Liverpool from former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to Fenway Sports Group six years ago.
He cited the SIP project Supponor — a Finnish company that designed augmented technology allowing billboard advertising to be modified in real time for specific broadcast locations — as an example of the kind of company his firm is looking to host on the platform.
"We already get quite a few companies in this sphere who come to us," Sir Martin told City A.M.
"But we're looking for a bigger flow of such opportunities to assess and determine which ones we're happy to support.
"Supponor was a great example of a firm developed by tech guys who knew nothing about sport. We can bring to it all the contacts to enable them to actually monetise effectively the brilliant technology they've got."