Selected Articles

Executives sound off on the new year in sports business

Steven G. Horowitz
Partner, Inner Circle Sports
> Stories/trends: The eventual legalization of sports betting will make an impact on the leagues and fans in the United States. It is unlikely that gambling on sports will be in full force in 2018, but the increased interest in the games and monster revenues will have the U.S. catching up to what the rest of the world legally participates in on a daily basis. The Supreme Court ruling may just speed up everyone’s timeline, but there will still be significant regulatory challenges ahead. … U.S. Soccer’s presidential elections in February. Continued growth of revenue will look easy compared to figuring out the magic formula for the development of the USMNT. Soccer-loving fans in America won’t be satisfied if the U.S. can’t compete at the highest level around the world.

> Personality most intriguing: Dan Reed, Facebook/Jim DeLorenzo, Amazon. While playing things close to the vest the past 18 months, it’s hard to imagine Dan and Jim’s continued foray into media rights conversations won’t have a large impact on team values and player salaries around the globe. With Facebook and Amazon’s market caps in excess of a trillion dollars, it is hard to imagine there is a deal in the market they can’t do (if they are interested).

Dave Portnoy and Erika Nardini, Barstool Sports. This duo is reshaping the way a younger generation is consuming sports and content around sports. It is unlikely that they will be the highest bidder in any negotiation for the traditional bat-and-ball leagues, but I expect them to continue to make their mark in other ways this coming year. Continue reading

For Investors Intrigued and Confused by Esports, a VC Fund Opens

Hilgers and his partner Markus Fuhrmann put up $11.5 million of BitKraft’s first fund. The other $7 million came from a handful of other investors, including New York-based Inner Circle Sports, GGV Capital co-founder Hany Nada, and aXiomatic Group, headed by pro sports team owners Peter Guber and Ted Leonsis. Continue reading

City of Seattle hires sports legal consultant to review its pending OVG arena deal

The city’s legal department has retained New York-based sports consultant David Abrams of Inner Circle Sports to advise its negotiation team on the pending deal with OVG. Abrams has a three-decade personal history as an investment banker specializing in sports venues and leads the boutique firm’s division that deals with funding, negotiation and development plans for stadium and arena projects. Continue reading

Michael Eisner completes takeover of Portsmouth FC

Michael Eisner, the former chief executive of Disney, has completed a planned takeover of Portsmouth FC, making him the latest international business mogul to snap up an English football club. Tornante was advised by Inner Circle Sports, Macfarlanes and Munger, Tolles & Olson. Continue reading

Classroom "Building Opinion on eSports"

We are happy to share some pieces of the big eSports market picture presented by our guests Jens Hilgers, Linus Lebugle, Joshua Begehr, Michael Berchtold & Robert Tilliss. Continue reading

Tsai Sports & Entertainment awarded a team in San Diego

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) announced it has awarded an expansion team to the city of San Diego and owner Joseph Tsai. Throughout the transaction process partners including the NLL’s financial advisor, Inner Circle Sports, and legal counsel, Friedman & Wittenstein, had assisted by providing advisory services. Continue reading

Comcast Spectacor brings the NLL back to Philadelphia

Throughout the transaction process NLL COO Dave Rowan and partners including the NLL’s financial advisor, Inner Circle Sports, and legal counsel, Friedman & Wittenstein, had assisted by providing advisory services. Visit for more information on the incoming Philadelphia franchise. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Continue reading

Prospective Investors Keeping Close Tabs On Esports Team Valuations Across Leagues

Inner Circle Sports Associate Dylan Glendinning said many investors are still trying to understand what esports is, and see buying a team now as an “easy way to get into it.” Glendinning: “The reason why you could argue the valuations make sense is because you view the teams as a way to participate in the rising tide of the esports ecosystem. As esports evolve and new games come out, even if we move toward games that are AR and VR, there are going to be competitions around those ecosystems and teams -- the bigger brands especially -- can put together a group of players and apply their brand to that ecosystem.” Continue reading