MSP Sports Capital (“MSP”) today announced it has co-led a group of North American sports investors to acquire Estoril Praia Futebol SAD, a Portuguese sports club from Estoril, Cascais, Portugal. Founded on 17 May 1939, the GD Estoril currently plays in LigaPro Portugal.
MSP Sports Capital is a newly-formed sports fund with targeted investments (equity and debt) in sports related properties at the intersection of sports, global media rights, distribution technologies, content creation, sponsorship, esports, betting, and data.
“We’re excited to add Estoril Praia to our sports acquisition portfolio. The Estoril community, the Club’s rich history and recent performance, along with its proven ability to develop quality players, makes it a natural fit for the European platform MSP Sports Capital is building,” said Jeff Moorad, a principal of MSP.
Jeffrey Saunders, the new President of Estoril Praia said, “We are thrilled with the acquisition of Estoril Praia which marks our entry into Portuguese football. Estoril has a storied history and an acumen for developing emerging football talent.” Additionally, “We hope to contribute our experience in professional sports so that Estoril as well as the league in Portugal can continue to evolve as leaders in global football” said Jahm Najafi, a principal of MSP and part owner of the Phoenix Suns.
Regarding the future of the club, Saunders said, “Our focus will be on implementing technology and data science into the ethos of Estoril Praia to help develop the star players of tomorrow. As part of the Club’s immediate future, we will be retaining Rodolfo Canavesi as COO.”
The Estoril Praia professional football team started work on the 2019/2020 season on 1 July and will focus on its opening cup game on Aug 3 and its opening league game on Aug 11. The U23 team commenced pre season training on July 22nd at Estoril’s Center of Excellence.
The principals of MSP have experience as owners, investors and operators in the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), ESPN, and sports management.