Billions Are Pouring into Sports

Sports are a lot of things:

  • fun
  • social
  • competitive
  • community-focused

But in the eyes of those leading them (and putting money towards them)…

It’s a great investment.

The last couple of weeks have certainly shown us that.

Serious Money Headed To Sports

Massive funding is ready to be deployed across the sports world.

1. Will Ventures recently raised $150M (their 2nd fund) targeting sports, consumer, health, and media startups.

Some of their previous investments:

  • Breathwrk
  • Candy
  • Future
  • Jock MKT
  • Just Women’s Sports
  • Player’s Health
  • Tempus Ex
Will Ventures sports tech
Will Ventures team

2. Velocity Capital Management started by former private equity professional David Abrams and ex-Sportradar CEO Arne Rees announced they will invest $50M into sports, media, and entertainment companies.

3. Next Play Capital (started by former NFL player Ryan Nece) raised a $200M fund.

Some of their other investments:

  • ByteDance (parent of TikTok)
  • Chime
  • Coinbase
  • Fanduel
  • Guild
  • Impossible Foods
  • Lime
  • Peloton
  • Stubhub
  • Tonal

And then on Wednesday, another elite athlete announced an investment company…

4. Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi investment fund

Messi that he’s launching his own fund alongside venture capitalist Razmig Hovaghimian targeting companies in sports and tech.

BIG Sports Money

Here are some prime examples of all the opportunities (and dollar signs investors are seeing).


Tons of money is going into pickleball. (Lebron James, Kevin Love, Drew Brees, Draymond Green, Tom Brady, and Kevin Durant all bought teams).

I get it…

Pickleball is fun, inclusive, social, and competitive at the same time.

The game is growing like crazy — but don’t think all these athletes are getting involved just because they enjoy it.

They see profit potential as well.

Is it a fad? Possibly, but I don’t think so.


If you never play basketball and miss a shot — you expect to miss.

But if you never play pickleball and miss a shot — you get pissed because you feel like you should have made the shot.

The ability to get better quickly has players craving for more. I think pickleball is here to stay.

Sports Teams Valuations

It’s getting really expensive to own a professional sports team.

Look at the NBA…

Over the last 10 years, the value of NBA teams increased by 390% — with the average team carrying an estimated $2.48B valuation.

nba teams franchise value
Via Statista

The NFL is no different.

The Denver Broncos just sold for $4.65B. How much would the Cowboys sell for!?

Sports teams are no longer just cool to own (but also a great investment).

Sports Tech Funding

The funding in just the last year is incredible:

  • Private equity firms spent $51 billion on sports transactions globally
  • Sports startup investments equated to nearly $13 billion

Countries like India and China are on the rise.

  • North American companies received $6.5B in funding last year (161% increase YoY).
  • Asia-Pacific received $3.2B (+370% YoY).
  • Europe received $1.9B (+325% YoY).

The globalization of sports is a real thing. That means a much larger market size for new companies.

Name, Image, and Likeness

The ability for college athletes to monetize created a $1B market out of thin air.

But it also created a much larger play…

Athlete empowerment.

rise of athlete creators

There are now tons of companies being formed around helping athletes, entertainers, musicians, and creators monetize their audience.

Much of this is thanks to innovation in tech.

New Technologies

We’ve had an emergence of new niches such as:

  • web3
  • robots
  • wearables
  • virtual reality
  • data analytics
  • Internet of things
  • augmented reality
  • esports and gaming
  • artificial intelligence
  • 5G and lightning networks

All of these have brought talented entrepreneurs into the space.

There are a lot of “exited” and established founders jumping into the space, whether directly building a sports company or using it as an enhancer.

This is a very positive sign in my opinion.

Building in sports is the aim of many of these entrepreneurs (as the monetary elements are greater than ever before).

Where are we headed…

Looking Ahead

I don’t expect to see funding in sports slow down anytime soon.

So much is on the rise:

  • Women’s sports
  • College sports
  • Alternative sports
  • Esports

And they’re all in the early innings (not a bubble).

The tech set to take shape over the next decade fits in well…

Web3, gaming, AR, VR, IoT, AI all have functionality within sports. Many of the newest technologies are using sports to find their product-market fit.

Fun times are ahead. Strap in.

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