SailGP sells minority stake to marketing firm Endeavor
SAN DIEGO (AP) — SailGP has sold a minority stake to global sports and entertainment marketing company Endeavor.
The sailing league says Endeavor’s investment gives it a valuation of $200 million.
The deal was announced Thursday. SailGP’s second season begins Feb. 28-29 in Sydney.
“Endeavor’s partnership with SailGP represents a pivotal moment in our young and developing history,” SailGP CEO Russell Coutts said in a statement. “It strengthens our position going into our second season and signals the projected long-term value of SailGP. This is the start of a new era in our sport, and we couldn’t have a better partner than Endeavor.”
SailGP will benefit from access to Endeavor’s expertise in content production, media rights distribution, creative services, licensing, sponsorships and consumer marketing.
SailGP is contested in foiling, wing-sailed 50-foot catamarans similar to the ones used in the 2017 America’s Cup. It was co-founded by tech tycoon Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. and Coutts, a New Zealander who won the America’s Cup three times for two different countries as a skipper and twice as CEO of Ellison’s Oracle Team USA.
“SailGP is transforming the way people view sailing,” Endeavor president Mark Shapiro said. “For the first time, the sport is being packaged in a broadly appealing, consumable, consistent and exciting format, bringing it in line with some of the world’s top sporting events.”
Team Australia, led by Olympic gold medalist and former America’s Cup champion Tom Slingsby, won the inaugural championship in September by beating Team Japan in the $1 million, winner-take-all match race finale.
The fleet increased from six teams to seven for the 2020 season. Besides Australia and Japan, teams represent the United States, Spain, Britain, Japan and Denmark.
After Sydney, the tour stops in San Francisco; New York; Cowes, England; and Copenhagen.