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Home » BGF Backs Eleven Sports Media As It Bids To ‘supercharge’ USA Expansion After Deals With NFL And NBA Teams

BGF Backs Eleven Sports Media As It Bids To ‘supercharge’ USA Expansion After Deals With NFL And NBA Teams

A sports marketing firm that works with NFL and NBA teams and at iconic venues such as Yankee Stadium has secured a “multi-million investment” from BGF to help it grow further in the USA.

Eleven Sports Media says the investment will “supercharge” its international growth while allowing it to hire in Manchester and the USA.

Eleven Sports Media was founded by Matt Cairns in 2009 to create high-value local partner programmes for rights-holders at sports venues, connecting business sponsors with fans and local communities. It has developed its own tech to turn data into content and create digital advertising, and has worked at venues including the London Stadium and Yankee Stadium.

It entered the US market in 2021 with a deal with Major League Soccer side New York City Football Club, and in 2023 it started working with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints and New York Jets. This year it began working with basketball team the Milwaukee Bucks and with National Hockey League (NHL) side the New Jersey Devils.

The USA already accounts for more than half of Eleven’s sales and the new investment will help it to make “strategic hires” in the country ahead of the opening of an office in Charlotte, North Carolina, next year. Eleven is based in Blackppol, with another office in central Manchester.

The BGF deal was led by Rhys Davenport and Josh Bean from BGF’s North West team. Josh Bean will join Eleven’s board.

Matt Cairns, founder and CEO of Eleven, said: “We were looking for an investment partner that will add significant value to our business while allowing us to remain in control of the day-to-day direction. It was also important to us to find a culture fit and a team that we get along with – BGF ticked all of those boxes.

“We’ve been impressed throughout the deal process and we’re really excited about the future potential driven by our combined experience and networks. Our success to date is testament to the quality of team we’ve built and high performance culture we’ve nurtured and I’d like to thank everyone who has played a role in reaching today’s milestone.”

BGF investor, Rhys Davenport, said: “We’re excited to be backing such an impressive business, which has established itself as a market leader in the UK and gained rapid traction and opportunities in the US. We have a strong track record of working with business owners to help them scale internationally, so can add value through our experience and network. Building on the success in the US, we look forward to achieving this with Eleven and exploring more growth opportunities.”

Advisors on the deal included BGF Legal, DLA Piper, Hurst, Mark Wasley, Ian Martin, Squires Patton Boggs and RSM.

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