MSP Sports Capital – Led by sports industry veterans Jeff Moorad and Jam Najafi – aims to reinvent the popular action sports facility with unique fan experiences, an expanded calendar and enhanced access to the world’s best athletes.
NEW YORK, October 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — MSP Sports Capital announced today that it has acquired a controlling interest from ESPN Productions, Inc., a subsidiary of ESPN, Inc., in X Games, a legendary sports and entertainment company that brings elite action athletes a global Stage offers compete at the highest level. The acquisition marks MSP Sports Capital’s sixth investment as the investment firm continues to build a world-class sports portfolio that includes investments in McLaren Racing Limited and a global football consortium. ESPN Productions, Inc. will retain a non-controlling minority interest in X Games, and ESPN, Inc. will serve as the national linear broadcast partner under a multi-year agreement to be completed in connection with the transaction. MSP will assume ongoing operational control of X Games’ business.
“MSP Sports Capital looks forward to the future of X Games and to being the new custodians of such an important part of sports history and its reshaped future,” said Jeff MooradFounder and CEO, MSP Sports Capital.
Founded in 1995 by ESPN, Inc., X Games pioneered action sports entertainment by bringing televised high-stakes competitions to audiences around the world. This globally recognized brand has long provided a platform for elite athletes to showcase their record-breaking talents in disciplines such as skiing, snowboarding, Moto X, BMX freestyle and skateboarding. MSP Sports Capital’s investment will continue to energize X Games events and increase appeal to a digitally native audience seeking expanded access to athletes and community-driven content.
“We are proud of what we have created with our employees and the athletes over almost 30 years of world-class X Games events and content,” he said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content. “We now look forward to an exciting next chapter with MSP Sports Capital, which has a proven track record in esports and a dynamic vision for the continued growth and advancement of the industry-leading action sports brand.”
X Games will host X Games Aspen 2023 live Aspen, Coloout 27-29 January. Fans can continue to watch their favorite action sports competitions on ESPN and ABC networks across the US
“We bring our deep-rooted esports expertise to continue the progression and excitement around athletes, competitions, fans and X Games partners,” he said Jam NajafiFounder and Chairman of MSP Sports Capital and Founder and CEO of The Najafi Companies.
MSP Sports Capital will focus on energizing the brand, prioritizing premium athlete and fan experiences and investing in technology to propel the brand into the future. will be at the forefront of implementing this new vision Steven FleslerCEO of X Games who has a strong entertainment background in competition, storytelling and technology.
Recently vice president of original content for Twitch and executive producer of Twitch Rivals since 2018, Flisler previously held various leadership positions at NBCUniversal, where he produced legendary live productions and other globally recognized special events for over a decade. As the new CEO of X Games, Flisler is passionate about developing X Games into an even more respected brand among fans and athletes that will continue to redefine what’s possible in both action sports and culture.
Legendary athlete Tony Hawk will also join the X Games Investors Group as a Brand Steward to help bridge the X Games legacy into the future.
“Skateboarding is in my DNA and I support a community where change and advancement in action sports happens every day,” he said Tony Hawk, 10x X Games Gold Medalist. “Being part of the advisory board for X Games is an extension of my decades of competitive experience and is much more forgiving on the body, and I look forward to constantly being inspired by so many incredible athletes.”
About MSP Sports Capital
MSP Sports Capital is a global private equity firm that invests in teams, leagues and other companies in the sports ecosystem. The firm holds influential positions in established sports companies and is focused on creating value and generating differentiated returns. MSP Sports Capital was founded by experienced Investor-Operators, Jeff Moorad and Jam Najafi, whose expertise spans the world’s major sports leagues, including MLB, NBA, NFL, F1 and European football. MSP Sports Capital is headquartered in new York. For more information, visit www.MSPsportscapital.com.
About ESPN, Inc.
ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational multimedia sports entertainment brand with an unmatched portfolio of sports facilities. It consists of eight US 24-hour television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, Longhorn Network, SEC Network and the ACC Network; five with HD simulcast services – ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes). Other businesses include direct-to-consumer video service ESPN+, ESPN Audio (broadcast, satellite, digital, podcasts), a range of digital services (ESPN.com and many other websites, ESPN app, fantasy games and more) , Multi-Screen ESPN3 operates across media on every continent of the world, including more than 40 networks, ESPNW, consumer products and ESPN events. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Hearst owns a 20 percent stake in ESPN.
Heath Krug for MSP Sports Capital
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SOURCE MSP Sports Capital