The principals of Game Plan have represented clients on the buy or sell-side of some of the largest transactions in major professional sports.

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Major League Transactions

The principals of Game Plan have represented clients on the buy and/or sell-side for all five major U.S. professional sports leagues:

  • National Football League (NFL)
  • Major League Baseball (MLB)
  • National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • National Hockey League (NHL)
  • Major League Soccer (MLS)
  • Sacramento Kings (NBA)

    May 2013 - Consulting and investment banking services to Sacramento Basketball Holdings LLC and Vivek Ranadive including raising equity capital and arranging debt financing for the acquisition of the franchise to remain in Sacramento, CA.

  • Golden State Warriors (NBA)

    November 2010 - Consulting and investment banking services to Joe Lacob and Peter Guber with respect to the acquisition of the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association for $450 million. Game Plan raised the equity and debt capital for the transaction.

  • New York Yankees (MLB)

    July 2010 - Sale of a limited partner interest in the New York Yankees.

  • Boston Red Sox (MLB)

    March 2009 - Sale of a limited partner interest in the Boston Red Sox.

  • Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)

    September 2007 - Debt refinancing of the Phoenix Coyotes and Arena on behalf of owner Jerry Moyes.

  • St. Louis Blues (NHL)

    June 2006 - Sale of the St. Louis Blues and Savvis Center Arena for $153mm.

  • Joseph S. Lacob

    January 2006 - Potential acquisition of a major professional sports team. Mr. Lacob joined the Boston Celtics (NBA) ownership group and Board of Directors.

  • SMG & Oklahoma City Mayor’s Office

    September 2005 - Advisory with respect to attracting a major professional sports team to the Ford Center arena. Resulted in the temporary relocation of the New Orleans Hornets (NBA) to the Ford Center for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons after hurricane Katrina.

  • Proposed Acquisition of the National Hockey League (NHL)

    March 2005 - Developed the innovative plan and raised $4.5 billion of debt and equity capital for the acquisition of all 30 NHL teams. Invited by Commissioner Bettman to the March 1, 2005 NHL Board of Governors meeting to present the offer.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)

    February 2004 - Investment banking services on behalf of Frank H. McCourt, Jr. with respect to the acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers of MLB, Dodger Stadium, and related assets for $430mm. Game Plan previously represented Mr. McCourt in connection with the potential acquisition of the Boston Red Sox (MLB) and Anaheim Angels (MLB).

  • Ottawa Senators (NHL)

    August 2003 - Sale of the Ottawa Senators to Eugene Melnyk.

  • Portland Baseball Group

    August 2003 - Attract a Major League Baseball (MLB) team to Portland, Oregon and succeeded in structuring $150mm of state financing for a new ballpark.

  • Boston Celtics (NBA)

    December 2002 - Investment banking services on behalf of Irving and Wyc Grousbeck with respect to the acquisition of the Boston Celtics of the NBA for $360mm and post-closing investment banking & valuation services.

  • Montreal Canadiens (NHL)

    August 2001 - Arranged debt financing on behalf of George N. Gillett, Jr. in connection with his acquisition of the Montreal Canadiens and Molson Centre Arena.

  • Oakland Athletics (MLB)

    January 2000 - Hired by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority to sell the Oakland A’s. Game Plan identified and completed a purchase agreement with a buyer for $122.4mm subject to Major League Baseball approval.

  • Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)

    May 1997 - Sale of 50% of the team to Roger Marino, EMC co-founder, and negotiation of a new lease agreement with SMG, the arena operator.

  • New England Revolution (MLS)

    October 1995 - Executive Coordinator of the successful bid to bring MLS to Boston, Massachusetts on behalf of Robert Kraft and the Kraft family.

Minor League Transactions

  • Dayton Dragons (Single A Midwest League of Minor League Baseball)

    August 2014 - Sale of the team at a record sale price in Minor League Baseball on behalf of Mandalay Baseball, one of the leading operators of affiliated Minor League Baseball franchises in the US.

  • Frisco RoughRiders (Double A Texas League of Minor League Baseball)

    August 2014 - Sale of the team at a record sale price in Double A baseball on behalf of Mandalay Baseball.

  • Oklahoma City RedHawks (Triple A Pacific Coast League of Minor League Baseball)

    October 2014 - Sale of the team to Peter Guber and the Los Angeles Dodgers on behalf of Mandalay Baseball.

  • Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple A International League affiliate of the New York Yankees)

    November 2014 - Sale of Mandalay Baseball’s 50% ownership of the franchise to SWB Investors LLC, a group led by David Blitzer (part owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils) and includes David Abrams (senior adviser and former partner of Apollo Global Management), Grant Cagle (part owner of the Mobile BayBears) and Michael Hisler (senior managing partner at Cerberus Capital Management). The remaining 50% of the franchise will continue to be owned by the New York Yankees.

  • Erie SeaWolves (Double A Eastern League of Minor League Baseball)

    May 2015 - Sale of the team to Fernando Aguirre, former Chairman and Chief Executive of Chiquita Brands International Inc., on behalf of Mandalay Baseball.

  • Erie Otters (Ontario Hockey League, major junior hockey)

    July 2015 - Sale of the team on behalf of Sherry Bassin for $7.225 million to Jim Waters.

  • Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA Pacific Coast League of Minor League Baseball)

    September 2010 - Sale of the team to Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC for $20mm.

  • New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA Eastern League of Minor League Baseball)

    October 2005 - Investment banking and consulting services to Arthur P. Solomon with respect to the acquisition of the team and ballpark.

  • Orlando Rays (AA Southern League of Minor League Baseball)

    October 2003 - Sale of the team to Tom Dickson on behalf of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (MLB).

  • Mandalay Baseball Holdings LLC

    December 2002 - Raised $20mm of equity from Seaport Capital and $20mm of bank debt for Mandalay’s five minor league baseball teams: Las Vegas 51’s (AAA), Frisco RoughRiders (AA), Erie SeaWolves (AA), Dayton Dragons (A), and Hagerstown Suns (A).

  • Ottawa Lynx (AAA International League of Minor League Baseball)

    June 2000 - Sale of the team to Raymond C. Pecor.

League Projects

  • Arena Football League (AFL)

    2007-2009 - Consulting and investment banking services with respect to the formation of a long-term strategic plan for the League that may or may not include raising equity capital, selling current franchises, expansion to other US Markets and/or International Markets, restructuring the League, and maximizing media broadcast relationships.

  • Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL)

    August 2001 - Exclusive investment banker to the League with respect to the development of a strategic plan, sale of new franchises, and discussions with strategic partners.

  • Canadian Football League (CFL)

    June 1995 - Prepared strategic business plan and participated in League television negotiations.

Other Transactions

  • Sports Properties Acquisition Corp. (AMEX: HMR.U, HMR, HMR.WS)

    January 2008 - Game Plan was an Advisor to this blank check company targeting investments in the sports, entertainment, or leisure industries that completed a successful $200mm IPO in January 2008.

  • Octagon Baseball, Inc. (athlete representation and marketing company)

    November 2000 - Investment banking and consulting services on behalf of Octagon Baseball, Inc. with respect to the acquisition of the baseball division of the Woolf Agency, Inc.

  • Bob Woolf Associates (sports marketing and representation company)

    May 1996 - Sale of the company to an ownership group including Arnold Communications Inc., Bobby Orr, and Larry Moulter.

Sports Lending Alliance

The Alliance

Game Plan Special Services LLC (“Game Plan”) and Grosvenor Park Media GP Corporation (“Grosvenor Park”) have joined forces to provide specialty financing to the Sports Industry. The two companies have over 50-years of combined financing experience specifically in professional sports, media and entertainment. The alliance will provide our clients with the highest level of expertise in this sector while delivering financing solutions tailored to the unique requirements of the Sports Industry.

The Sports Industry is Unique

Professional sports is a unique industry, incorporating aspects of real estate, media, licensing, public policy, on-field play and off-field operations, among other core elements. Financing for professional sports requires a multifaceted approach that incorporates expertise across these disciplines. Few commercial financiers are able to bring together the requisite knowledge, experience, relationships, and financial resources. As a result, the existing capital markets offer terms that can be inefficient in both cost and structure, and fail to address the underlying needs of the client.

The alliance of Game Plan and Grosvenor Park is built upon the understanding that to meet the specific needs of professional sports teams, leagues, facilities and related companies requires financing experience in the sports industry combined with operations, M&A, and valuations expertise. This level of sports “know-how” allows Game Plan and Grosvenor Park to fully understand the true value of sports companies and properties, in order to provide tailored financing solutions with the best possible terms and structure.

Game Plan

Game Plan is an investment banking and financial advisory firm providing services to buyers, sellers, borrowers, lenders, owners and investors in the professional sports industry and related companies. The principals have experience in and have completed transactions in virtually every phase of the sports and entertainment business. Both principals have each owned and managed a professional sports team. Below are samples of the clients for which Game Plan provided exclusive investment banking services, debt placement, or buy side or sell side services.

Grosvenor Park

Grosvenor Park is a specialty finance company and investment manager focused on the global entertainment and media industries. They provide tailored financing and consulting solutions to leading creative and corporate partners spanning filmed entertainment, digital media, live attractions, sports, and music. Over three decades, Grosvenor Park has financed 400+ film and television productions. Clients include major studios and independent producers globally. Below are examples of major motion pictures for which Grosvenor Park has provided financing.