Whatever shall we do with all of this?
"The NFL is pretty good when it comes to running a sports and entertainment enterprise, but we're not very experienced in the direct investment business," said Eric Grubman, the league's executive vice president for business ventures.
Not to worry! The alternative investments industry may not have found a way to wriggle into NFL ownership yet, but one of its certified members is more than happy to explain leverage to the assembled gerontocracy and to help them deploy their billions.
While the NFL and Providence have yet to specify investments, they plan to have about $300 million available to invest in start-ups that work within sports, media and technology….
Paul Salem, senior managing director for Providence, said Providence and the NFL foresee spreading the funds across several different investments, targeting companies with a need for $25 million to 50 million in exchange for significant equity….
Rhode Island-based Providence manages funds with about $28 billion in commitments. The company has made substantial investments in sports and media before. The company was an early investor in the YES Network, in which News Corp. recently purchased a 49% stake in a transaction that valued the network at about $3 billion. News Corp. also owns The Wall Street Journal. Providence also last year invested $150 million for a minority interest in Major League Soccer's business arm, Soccer United Marketing.
So, you know, one-for-two there.