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Inner Circle Sports Visits the Business of Sports Club

Boutique sports and entertainment investment banking firm Inner Circle Sports visits Business of Sports Club.

RCs, remember making a valuation for the Tottenham Soccer Team for the Finance 1 Final? How exactly do you value a sports team with little public data, a large amount of intangible assets, and little to no comparables? This is just the type of problem that Inner Circle Sports founder Robert Tilliss and Phillip Hall (MBA ’06) help to solve.

Rob founded Inner Circle Sports in 2002 to combine his passion for sports and his banking background (a rare combination in the finance world). The boutique firm serves as an investment and advisory merchant bank focused on sports, media and entertainment industries. Over the past six years they have represented dozens of professional sports franchises including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Vikings, New Jersey Nets and New York Mets.

Rob and Phil met with the Business of Sports Club on January 23rd to discuss their pursuit and acquisition of the English Premier League’s Liverpool Football Club. It was a heated contest for the club that involved edging out Dubai International Capital at a cost of ?240M. The new home for the football team was also revealed to club members in a video showing off the planned state-of-the-art 71,000 seat capacity stadium. In addition to learning about the team and acquisition process, one lucky audience member won an autographed jersey from the team’s captain and premier league MVP Steven Gerrard.

Some of the club members in the audience were caught drooling as Rob and Phil discussed what it was like to meet with league owners and commissioners, plan new stadium construction, and dine with high net-worth potential investors. Rob also discussed the increasing trend of incorporating management principles and investment groups to operate sports teams as businesses. For individuals who aren’t familiar with fanatical owners like Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones, this hasn’t always been the case.

The Business of Sports Club has also had other industry representatives present this year including Celtics President Rich Gotham, Jonathan Mariner (MBA ’78), Executive Vice President-Finance for Major League Baseball, and Dan Reed (MBA ’04), President of the NBA’s Development League. For more information about the club or future events, contact BoS President Chris Marinak (cmarinak@mba2008.hbs.edu) or Zach Morello (zmorello@mba2009.hbs.edu)

February 11, 2008
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