Providence, NFL In Co-Investment Tie

Mar 19 2013 | 12:48pm ET

The National Football League is sitting on a goldmine, and it's asked a private-equity firm to help it invest it.

The league and Providence Equity Partners have launched a $300 million co-investment operation to invest in sports, media and technology start-ups. NFL owners approved the deal yesterday, 15 months after they created a $32 million strategic investment fund.

The NFL and Providence will seek out investments in companies where the league could play a strategic role, The Wall Street Journal reports. The two will invest between $25 million and $50 million in companies in exchange for a significant equity stake.

"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," Eric Grubman, NFL executive vice president for business ventures, said.

Providence, on the other hand, is: The $28 billion firm was an early investor in the New York Yankees' YES Network and last year took a minority stake in Major League Soccer's business arm.

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