Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Eli Manning clinches first deal as PE partner

Kimberly Chin
Sep 29, 2022
Former football player Eli Manning

Photo: Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images

Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning landed his first deal as partner of PE firm Brand Velocity Group, buying youth league apparel company Score Sports, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Private equity hires have expanded to bring in star power, and those stars bring deals in their orbit.

What’s happening: Brand Velocity acquired a majority stake in the youth brand. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, though Bloomberg reports the deal values the company at around $145 million, citing a source familiar.

  • Abrdn and Ocean Avenue Capital Partners chipped in with capital, per Bloomberg.

Details: Wilmington, California-based Score Sports makes and markets uniforms and equipment for a range of sports.

Yes, and: Manning is joined by a host of current and former pro athletes including NBA heavyweights Carmelo Anthony, Andre Drummond and Klay Thompson.

  • Stars from baseball, soccer and the NFL participated (including Manning’s brother, former football quarterback Peyton).

Flashback: Eli joined the private equity firm as a partner back in January.

  • His draw to the PE world came when his family (brother Peyton and father Archie) invested in Louisiana grill maker BBQGuys, which BVP snatched up in late 2020.

Context: Founded in 2019, BVP mostly focuses on buying consumer brand companies, with interests in sports investing and owning stakes in pro teams.

The bottom line: Celebrities are no strangers to strategic investments, but it's notable to see them take a more active role in dealmaking.

  • See SKKY, the consumer-focused private equity firm co-founded by Carlyle vet Jay Sammons and Kim Kardashian.

Go deeper