Velocity Capital Management plans to invest in early-stage sports, media, and entertainment businesses.
Former private equity professional David Abrams and ex-Sportradar CEO Arne Rees created the firm.
Velocity intends to invest up to $50 million in companies with enterprise valuations of up to $2 billion.
Two long-time sports executives are creating a venture capital business to finance startups capitalising on the expanding potential at the convergence of sports, media, and entertainment.
Velocity Capital Management announced a $50 million investment in early-stage startups with enterprise values of up to $2 billion on Tuesday.
David Abrams, a co-owner of Crystal Palace in the English Premier League and a former private equity partner and chief investment officer of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, is one of Velocity’s co-founders. Arne Reese, who most recently worked as the CEO of Sportradar, a sports technology company, is the other co-founder.
Camp NYC, which provides shop-and-play retail experiences based on intellectual property from popular children’s entertainment like as Disney’s “Mickey & Friends” and “Paw Patrol,” has closed its first investment.
Camp is a business that intersects with some of the topics we’ve been looking at as a group,” Abrams explained.
The company’s stores, which combine retail with interactive elements, are located in New York City, including its flagship site on Fifth Avenue, as well as in New Jersey, California, and Texas.
Velocity stated that it had obtained funding from a variety of sources, including Delaware North, a private corporation with a portfolio that includes more than 50 entertainment and sports venues, sports betting platforms, and the NHL’s Boston Bruins. Signify Wealth, an investment advisor with NFL clients, Remington Ellis, a sports marketing and talent agency, Bolt Ventures, a family office that invests in sports and entertainment in the United States and Europe, and RWN Management, the family office of Apollo Global Management co-founder Mark Rowan, are among the other investors.
Abrams and Rees stated in an interview that they chose to launch Velocity after observing the sports and media ecosystem grow in areas such as technology, analytics, and intellectual property.
For the time being, we are particularly interested in early-stage startups,” Abrams explained. These are firms in which we will most likely make a non-control investment while also serving as an advisor or on the board.
Abrams was a partner at Apollo for much of his career before joining Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment as its chief investment officer in 2018. Harris Blitzer, formed by private equity executives Josh Harris and David Blitzer, also owns the Prudential Center, where the Devils play, as well as the e-sports group New Meta Entertainment, among other sports-related enterprises.
Rees previously led Sportradar, a data startup that works with bookmakers, federations, and media organisations, through its initial public offering (IPO) in 2021. He has also worked for ESPN and the Union of European Football Associations.