Business venture

Redbird Capital buys 40% of NFLPA and MLBPA business venture as value soars – The Athletic

Private equity firm Redbird Capital is buying its 40% stake in the joint venture with the NFL Players’ Association and the MLB Players Association, three people with knowledge of the matter said, less than 20 months after the company started to profit increasing value in player likenesses.

Redbird, which hired PJT Partners to sell the stake, received preliminary interest at valuations well above the value set in November 2019 when OneTeam Partners launched. Then Redbird, named after its founder Gerry Cardinale, paid $125 million for a two-fifths position, which translates to a value of $312.5 million. But the upcoming interest puts OneTeam Partners’ price between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

“It proves the logic and the power of the athletes; it’s a testament to that structure,” said one of the people with knowledge of the situation.

The MLBPA had also expressed some questions about Redbird’s recent investment in Boston Red Sox parent Fenway Sports over concerns it might be a conflict of interest, sources said. But that the two stakes are in conflict, what drives Redbird to sell is the skyrocketing valuation of OneTeam at a time when the name, image and likeness rights of athletes are hot from the pros to the college level soon.

OneTeam started with MLBPA and NFLPA group licensing rights, which covers areas such as trading cards, video games and jerseys and generates nine figures in annual revenue.