Alexander Isaacs of Newcastle United faces Cheikh Doukuri of Crystal Palace.
Lee Smith | Reuters
Two longtime sports executives are launching an investment company they say will support startups to take advantage of growing opportunities at the intersection of sports, media and entertainment.
Yellowcity Capital Management said Tuesday it will invest up to $50 million in early-stage companies with an institutional value of up to $2 billion.
One of the founders of Velocity is David Abrams, a co-owner of Premier League Crystal Palace and a former private equity partner and investment director at Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. The other co-founder is Arne Reese, who most recently served as the CEO of Sportradar, a sports technology company.
The company closed its first investment in Camp New York, creating retail experiences for shopping and playing based on the intellectual property of popular children’s entertainment, such as Disney’s Mickey and Friends and Paw Patrol.
“Camp is a company that goes beyond some of the things we used to look at as a company,” Abrams said.
The company’s stores, a mixture of shopping and interactive experience, are located in New York City, including its flagship location on Fifth Avenue, as well as in New Jersey, California and Texas.
Velocity said it received investment capital from a variety of sources, including Delaware North, a private company with a portfolio of more than 50 sports and entertainment venues, sports betting sites and Boston Bruins. Other investors include Signify Wealth, an investment advisor with NFL clients; Remington Ellis, sports marketing and talent agency; Bolt Ventures, a family office that invests in sports and entertainment in the United States and Europe; and RWN Management, the family office of Mark Rowan, co-founder of Apollo Global Management.
In an interview, Abrams and Reese said they decided to start Velocity after watching the sports and media ecosystem develop in areas such as technology, analytics and intellectual property.
“Right now we are primarily focused on companies in the growth phase,” Abrams said. “These are companies in which we are likely to make an uncontrolled investment, but we want to play an active role as an advisor or on their board.”
Abrams and Reese said their background in investing and sports gave them the confidence to launch speed.
Prior to joining Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment as Chief Investment Officer in 2018, Abrams worked as a partner at Apollo for most of his career. Harris Blitzer – Founded by Private Equity Experts Josh Harris and David Blitzer – Also Owns Prudential Center, the arena where the Devils play, and esports organization New Meta Entertainment, among others in the sports world.
Reiss previously directed Sportradar, a data company that works with sports books, sports federations and media companies, through an IPO in 2021. His resume also includes roles at ESPN and UEFA.
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