WPP forms alliance with Bruin Sports Capital

WPP is leading an international syndicate investing US$250m (£165m) in Bruin Sports Capital, a global sports marketing firm launched by former IMG president George Pyne.

Sir Martin Sorrell: The investment is “an important part of WPP’s strategy”
Sir Martin Sorrell: The investment is “an important part of WPP’s strategy”

WPP’s investment – the size of which is not known - means it will have a preferred partnership arrangement with Bruin Sports Capital that will allow its operating companies’ clients access to unique media and sponsorship opportunities in sport.

Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO of WPP, said the investment "is an important part of [WPP’s] strategy, as it impacts new markets, new media, data investment management and the application of technology and horizontality.

"George is a major talent in the sports business world and based on his track record, I’m confident that the clients who work with WPP’s operating companies will be given access to many high-value media and sponsorship opportunities. GroupM, our wholly owned media investment management company, manages over US$100bn in billings (according to RECMA) and there is growing interest on the part of clients to invest some of that portfolio in content and sport."

Pyne launched Bruin Sports Capital last year after retaining New York investment bank Allen & Company to assist in securing funds for the new venture. The $250m (£164m) raised in equity capital provides for $500m (£331m) in buying power to acquire and invest in sports marketing businesses, sports federations, leagues and franchises.

As well as its GroupM entertainment business, WPP has investments in MediaPro, CSM Sport & Entertainment, VICE, Indigenous Media, FullScreen, MRC and most recently the new China-focused CMC Creative Fund. The agency already works with a large number of premium sports organisations and properties across its operating companies, including the IOC, FIFA, UEFA, Premier League, La Liga, F1, Manchester United, City Football Group, NASCAR, NBA, PAC-12 and the NFL.

Pyne said: "I am thrilled to announce the official launch of Bruin Sports Capital. The key points of differentiation that will define Bruin Sports Capital include its unparalleled access to the best deals; long-term, flexible capital; extensive operating expertise; strategic capital in WPP and other investors; and finally, our speed of execution."


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