30 April 2024 – 2pm GMT:

Eleven Sports Media has attracted a multi-million investment from BGF, one of the largest and most experienced investors in the UK and Ireland.

BGF’s investment will supercharge international growth and increase Eleven’s foothold in the US market. The business will continue to grow its Manchester team and make strategic hires in the US to support the opening of an office in Charlotte, USA in 2025.

Already accounting for more than half of the business’ overall sales, Eleven entered the US with the win of New York City Football Club in 2021, and the business has since added the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints and New York Jets in 2023. More recently, Eleven has attracted partners in the NBA and NHL with the wins of Milwaukee Bucks and New Jersey Devils this year.

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

Commenting on the deal, 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, added: “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 were: BGF Legal: DLA Piper (Andy Philips, Alexandra Keane, James Croft), Tax DD: Hurst (Adrian Young, Sarah Haley), FDD: Mark Wasley, Sales DD: Ian Martin, Vendor legal advice: Squires Patton Boggs (Giles Chesher, Harry Jackson, Gabe Pennington), Tax structuring: RSM (Emily Sloane and Jack Bentham).

About BGF: 

  • BGF was set up in 2011 and has invested £4 billion in over 560 companies, making it the most active investor in the UK.
  • BGF is a minority, non-controlling equity partner with a patient outlook on investments, based on shared long-term goals with the management teams it backs.
  • BGF invests in growing businesses in the UK and Ireland through its network of 15 offices.