AEG Makes Strategic Investment in New Sports and Entertainment Fund

AEG sees a strong opportunity for growth in sports media.

AEG has made a strategic investment.

The company has backed the Sapphire Sport and Entertainment fund, started by VC firm Sapphire Ventures.  The venture capital firm has announced the $115 million venture fund will focus specifically on sports tech startups.

Sapphire Sport will cover the sports tech market as well as media and entertainment industries.

Based in Silicon Valley, the VC firm reportedly manages over $2.5 billion in assets.  The company has experience investing in premier global sporting, media, and lifestyle brands.  These include City Football Group, owner of Manchester City FC, and sports teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS.

Other notable Sapphire Sport investors include the Bank of Montreal, Adidas, and Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG).

Sapphire Sport has launched with an initial investment in five startups.  These include Tonal, a connected home fitness startup, Mycujoo, a soccer streaming platform, Overtime, a digital sports content provider, Fevo, a social commerce solution for live events, and Phoenix Labs, an indie gaming studio.

Doug Higgins, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Sapphire Ventures, along with Michael Spirito, Managing Director, will co-lead the new venture fund.

Speaking about the purpose of the new fund, Higgins said,

Venture capitalists need to continue to reinvent and innovate in order to stay relevant.  We created Sapphire Sport to serve as a preeminent investment vehicle in a nascent and dynamic sector where technology investment experience is in increasingly high demand.

In partnership with some of the most innovative team owners and sporting brands in the world, we are bringing Sapphire Ventures’ investment experience to the global sport marketplace.

Spirito added,

The opportunity we are addressing is vast and diverse.  Sport is the one thing we can all agree on – even as we may disagree on our fan loyalties.

From a market perspective, sport includes all global sports media rights, distribution technologies, content creation, sponsorship, digital fitness, e-sports, betting, data, and everything in between.


Featured image by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar (CC by 2.0).