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Former IMG sports and entertainment president George Pyne, who exited the firm after it was acquired by WME to create a “new venture,” has announced that he’s launching Bruin Sports Capital, a media, sports, marketing and branded lifestyle company.
Bruin Sports Capital will acquire, build and operate businesses on a global basis.
“Identifying unique opportunities, attracting world-class management teams, establishing a culture of innovation and creating real value is what will make up Bruin Sports Capital’s DNA,” Pyne said in a statement. “The firm will be opportunistic and nimble in pursuit of its goals. The key points of differentiation that will define Bruin Sports Capital include its unparalleled access to the best deals; long-term, flexible capital; extensive operating expertise; strategic capital and global resources in WPP and other investors; and finally, our speed of execution.”
The firm also received an investment from WPP and has concluded a $250 million equity fundraising round, providing $500 million in buying power, Bruin Sports Capital announced.
“WPP’s investment in sports and content through Bruin Sports Capital is an important part of its strategy as it impacts new markets, new media, data investment management and the application of technology and horizontality,” WPP founder and CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said in a statement. “George is a major talent in the sports business world and based on his track record, I am confident that the clients who work with WPP’s operating companies will be given access to many high-value media and sponsorship opportunities. GroupM, our wholly owned media investment management company, manages over $100 billion in billings (according to RECMA), and there is growing interest on the part of clients that it invests some of that portfolio in content and sports.”
Pyne added: “Our partnership with WPP, whose global resources and record of accomplishments for delivering results, along with the capabilities and influence of the other global investors, provides Bruin Sports Capital with unmatchable reach and the ability to execute. Sir Martin Sorrell and WPP are builders of global businesses, which will benefit Bruin Sports Capital greatly. I am thrilled to be partnering with Sorrell, WPP and a truly global syndicate of investors. These relationships will allow us to maximize the opportunities we have identified throughout the sports and entertainment spaces and create exceptional value for our investors.”
Pyne announced that he was leaving WME-IMG in August, saying he was leaving to form a new venture but would remain a senior adviser to the agency.
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