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Volume 25 No. 177
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Ben Sutton Bullish On Teall Capital's Continued Growth In College Space

Teall Capital Founder & Chair Ben Sutton started the private equity firm in ’17 with the goal of serving as “subject matter experts” to help grow businesses in the college space, he said at the ‘18 SBJ Dealmakers in Sports conference in N.Y. Sutton pointed to Tailgate Guys’ explosive growth since Teall Capital got involved as a major success story. The company, which organizes fans’ tailgates, had six partners when Teall Capital made an undisclosed investment for 25% of the organization in early ’17. It now has more than 40 event spaces across the country. “They are drinking from a firehose now,” Sutton said. “The company is 6,000 percent or 7,000 percent larger than what it was 19 or 20 months ago. That’s a very microcosmic, perfect example of the investment thesis for us: Can we lean in and make a big difference?”

RETAIL DONE RIGHT: Teall Capital also owns Dyehard Fan Supply, an event and retail merchandise marketing and e-commerce company. When asked if Dyehard is being set up as a competitor to Fanatics, Sutton did not hesitate. “Somebody has to,” he said. Sutton believes Dyehard, which he said is three times the size it was a year ago, is capitalizing on fans’ growing demand for a quality experience that transcends the on-field product. He expects the company’s emphasis on premium in-stadium retail to help it remain on a “trajectory that is almost insane.” Sutton: “We think that’s part of the gameday experience. We think people want to buy quality merchandise. It needs to have a country club, clubhouse-type feel, or like you were at Wimbledon. They want to have a great experience. We’re paying more for merchandise and we’re paying more for people, but we’re betting that upgrading the experience will be a big part of continuing to build this next generation of fans.”