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Volume 22 No. 14
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Dealmakers in sports

In most industries, the investment banks that advise on sales of companies are usually blue-chip Wall Street firms. Not so with sports teams, where advising on selling and buying teams is in many cases done by boutiques and other smaller firms. Below is a look at a few of them.

 

Inner Circle Sports

Founded in 2002 by former JPMorgan Chase sports banker Rob Tilliss, Inner Circle has a bulky résumé of deals, including sales of Liverpool FC, the Brooklyn Nets, Memphis Grizzlies and Atlanta United. Like many in its field, the firm has branched into non-team deals, advising entities including Bloomberg Sports.

Game Plan

The granddaddy of firms that started it all, Game Plan was founded in 1994 by Boston lawyer Bob Caporale and former New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Vataha. The firm has advised scores of sales over the years, including the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.

Galatioto Sports Partners

Founded in 2005 by industry pioneer Sal Galatioto, the eight-person firm is well-known for its advisory work involving the sale of the Chicago Cubs, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Charlotte Bobcats.

PJT Partners

Formed in 2015, PJT offers traditional financial services to a range of industries. In sports, its practice is managed by Morgan Stanley sports banker Don Cornwell. PJT has advised the NFL on the relocations to Los Angeles, the sale of 49 percent of Palace Sports & Entertainment, and MSG on the possible spinoff of the New York Knicks and Rangers.

The Raine Group

Founded in 2009, Raine advises and invests in sports deals. It advised on the sale of the UFC, IMG, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Professional Bull Riders. Its investments include the Premier Lacrosse League and DraftKings.

Allen & Co.

Long known as a savvy media dealmaker, the firm hired former MLB executive Steve Greenberg in 2001 to start a sports practice. Greenberg started with baseball, and has now covered most sports, most recently with his first sell assignment in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers.