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Volume 21 No. 1
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The dealmakers

Some of the key players to watch in sports finance

Rob Tilliss

Founder, Inner Circle Sports
It was a banner year for Inner Circle, with advisory roles on the sales of the Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils and Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. Inner Circle’s biggest deal since Tilliss started the firm in 2002 was advising Fenway Sports on the 2009 purchase of Liverpool Football Club. Tilliss formed Inner Circle after running JPMorgan Chase’s sports lending practice.

Photo by: Galatioto Sports Partners
Sal Galatioto

President, Galatioto Sports Partners
One of the more entertaining personalities in the sports finance world, Galatioto’s firm advised the Maloofs last year on the sale of the Sacramento Kings. GSP played a central role in the bankruptcy saga of the Texas Rangers, helping force the team to auction against MLB’s wishes.

John Moag
Photo by:

Chairman & CEO, Moag & Co.
Moag was the chairman of the Maryland Stadium Commission in 1995 when the state struck the deal to lure the Browns from Cleveland. From that he launched his sports career, and over the years has advised on the sales of the Ravens and Dolphins, and more recently the San Diego Padres.

Photo by: Tipping Point Sports
Mitchell Ziets

CEO, Tipping Point Sports
Ziets is an expert in stadium lease negotiations, having worked with a variety of teams, including the San Diego Chargers. He advised the ill-fated Seattle group’s push to buy the Kings, and now is involved in efforts to bring the NHL to Seattle.

Steve Greenberg

Managing director, Allen & Co.
Greenberg has long since moved beyond being known as Hank Greenberg’s son. He is the go-to guy for MLB team sales and transactions, and has frequently been rumored as a candidate for commissioner of the sport. He is not limited to MLB, however, and now is advising the Milwaukee Bucks on a prospective sale of the club.

Vataha (left) and Caporale made their mark advising on team sales.
Photo by: Chris Churchill
Robert Caporale

Chairman, Game Plan
Randy Vataha
CEO, Game Plan
A two-man shop with offices out of their homes on the respective coasts, Game Plan features Caporale and Vataha, a former Patriots wide receiver. They have long made a mark advising on team sales, including last year’s Kings transaction, representing the buyer. Over the years they have advised on the sale of the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics, and once even advised Bain & Co. on a bid to buy the entire NHL.