Inner Circle Sports LLC
|Founders 👔||Rob Tilliss and Steve Horowitz|
|Headquarters 🏙️||441 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, United States|
Area served 🗺️
|Products 📟||Investment banking|
Number of employees
Inner Circle Sports is a privately held boutique investment bank headquartered in New York City specializing in corporate finance and capital raising for a global client base focused on teams, stadiums and companies operating in the sports space. ICS has completed over $10 billion in high-profile transactions across multiple leagues and industries in the U.S. and Europe.
Former JP Morgan Chase sports financier Rob Tilliss founded Inner Circle Sports in 2002. Some of the firm’s earliest work included representing the Wyc Grousbeck-led group in its acquisition of the Boston Celtics, and Bruce Ratner’s acquisition of the Nets. In 2006, ICS formally hit the market in its present form when Steve Horowitz, the longtime ProServ executive, joined the firm.
Inner Circle Sports, headquartered in New York City, is an investment bank focused on the global sports industry. ICS specializes in providing corporate finance and capital raising services including buy-side and sell-side advisory, acquisition and facility financing as well as valuation, consulting, and restructuring services to a global client base.
Unlike many large finance firms that use sports mergers and acquisition advisory as a value-added service for existing clients or as an extension of a lending business, smaller outfits like ICS must combine an intricate knowledge of sports leagues while forging new relationships.
Teams & Leagues
ICS provides advisory services to team owners in a wide range of transactions, including equity and debt financings, acquisitions/divestitures, and valuation appraisals. ICS has executed transactions in every major U.S. sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS), as well as several leagues internationally, including EPL, La Liga, and Ligue 1. Past clients have included the Atlanta Hawks, New York Islanders, Milwaukee Bucks, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia 76ers, Liverpool F.C., and Inter Milan.
Media & Technology
ICS advises and execute on transactions for the founders and management teams of sports and media operating companies. ICS focuses on businesses that directly interface with fans, teams, leagues, corporate sponsors and/or media operators. ICS' clients are generally post-revenue and have demonstrated significant revenue growth and defensible competitive positioning. Past clients have included Teamworks, Baseball America, STATS LLC, and Bloomberg Sports.
ICS performs debt and equity capital raising for sports facilities. In addition ICS will advise local governments on stadium negotiations and financings. Past clients have included City of Seattle and City of Las Vegas.
2018 - served as financial advisor to Teamworks on the funding round led by General Catalyst
2017 – served as financial advisor to the National Lacrosse League on the sale of an expansion franchise to J Tsai Sports in San Diego
2017 – served as financial advisor to Michael Eisner in his acquisition of Portsmouth Football Club
2017 – served as financial advisor to the Alliance Baseball on the acquisition of Baseball America
2017 – Financial Advisor to the city of Seattle on KeyArena redevelopment
2016/2017 – Las Vegas Stadium advisor
2016 – served as financial advisor to NY Hockey Holdings LLC on the acquisition of the New York Islanders
2016 -- served as financial advisor to Josh Harris/David Blitzer on the acquisition of Crystal Palace
2016 -- served as financial advisor to TeamWorks on the funding round led by Seaport Capital
2015 -- served as financial advisor to MGG Investment Group on the sale of the Atlanta Hawks
- "Power Players: Advisory" (September 26, 2016).
- "Inner Circle closes loop on team deals" (December 16, 2013).
- "General Catalyst Leads Funding Round in Duke-Backed Teamworks" (March 9, 2018).
- "NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE WELCOMES ITS 11TH FRANCHISE." National Lacrosse League (September 14, 2017).
- "NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE WELCOMES ITS 10TH FRANCHISE." National Lacrosse League (August 30, 2017).
- "Michael Eisner completes takeover of Portsmouth FC." Financial Times (August 3, 2017).
- "City of Seattle hires sports legal consultant to review its pending OVG arena deal." Seattle Times (July 9, 2017).
- "High demand keeps Teamworks working hard." Sports Business Journal (July 25, 2016).
- "Atlanta Hawks sold to Ares’ Ressler for $850 million, group includes Sara Blakely and Grant Hill." Biz Journals (April 22, 2015).
- "NBA’s global value plays role in sale of Bucks." Sports Business Journal (April 28, 2014).
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