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Volume 22 No. 28
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Bruin Sports Capital hires Abrutyn from IMG

Bruin Sports Capital has again dipped into the talent pool of former IMG executives to hire David Abrutyn, who will be an executive vice president and principal at George Pyne’s new company.

Abrutyn spent 15 years at IMG and during that time rose to become head of global consulting, working with brands such as Visa, General Electric, Nike and KPMG on programs that ranged from the Olympics to international soccer and golf, as well as the U.S. professional leagues. He oversaw a division of nearly 200 people across 20 offices in 13 countries while at IMG, where he reported to Pyne.

Abrutyn parted with the company in July, months after IMG was acquired by WME.

“David understands all aspects of sports business extremely well,” said Pyne, who left his post as president of IMG Sports & Entertainment last year, shortly after Abrutyn’s departure. “To get someone with that kind of global expertise who understands teams, leagues, governing bodies and federations represents an invaluable asset.”

Abrutyn represents Pyne’s second major hire since forming Bruin in January with $250 million that he raised in a six-month time frame. Pyne brought on Tony Crispino from IMG to serve as Bruin’s COO. Both Crispino and Abrutyn will work closely with Pyne as they evaluate potential acquisitions, which is how Bruin will build its business.

That initial round of $250 million in capital provides Bruin with $500 million in buying power, Pyne said.

“As I looked at what might be next for me, I wanted to go beyond the day-to-day to find the right place and the right people where I could put everything I’ve learned about global sports marketing into practice,” Abrutyn said. “I’ve heard George talk about building and operating companies over the long haul and I think I’ve got the ability to get down in the trenches and also see above the trees to find great companies.”

Pyne has said that he’d like to find three or four complementary businesses that Bruin could buy and bring together under the Bruin umbrella. That process is ongoing.

Pyne envisions the staff quickly getting up to eight or 10 executives in the near term.