Ted Leonsis Rumors
First, let’s address the elephant in the room. Why was Michael Jordan ringing the bell on IPO day? Well, Michael Jordan, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and Monumental Sports CEO Ted Leonsis — the owner of the NBA’s Wizards, the NHL’s Capitals, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and more — invested $44 million in the Swiss company in 2015. Keep in mind; sports betting didn’t even get legalized in the United States until the Supreme Court ruled PASPA unconstitutional in 2018, paving the way for states to self-regulate retail and online sports betting. But the early bet has paid off tremendously. Sportradar covered about 325,000 live events at the time of the investment but now covers about 750,000 events annually, providing data analytics and other technology services to 900 sports betting operators and 350 media companies.
The valuation at the time of their investment wasn’t disclosed, but Sportrader revealed in 2018 that the business was worth $2.4 billion. Given they invested three years prior, they likely came in at a significantly lower number, but still, even at that number, their $44 million would be worth nearly $150 million today. There’s nuance to this, of course. We don’t know if they invested additional capital, were diluted through later rounds, etc., but you get the point — Michael Jordan, Mark Cuban, and Ted Leonsis all made significant money on the deal. Sportrader Valuation: 2018: $2.4 billion. 2021: $8 billion (+233%). But here’s the interesting part: Sportrader did nearly $500 million in sales last year, but just 11% of that came from the U.S. market, where they are already the largest provider of data to sportsbooks.
Sportradar went public via an IPO on Tuesday at a valuation just under $8 billion, just as the rise of sports betting presents global opportunities. The company raised $513 million through the IPO, according to CFO Alex Gersh, and an additional $169 million from a concurrent placement with Eldridge Industries, a holding company owned by Los Angeles Dodgers owner Todd Boehly.
On Thursday, the Capitals held a news conference announcing the deal. And shortly after that, Leonsis was pulled into talks regarding the NBA’s Washington Wizards, a team that he also owns. “We had a superstar player with the Wizards, he had an opportunity and wanted to be traded to the Lakers,” Leonsis said. “And I was dealing with that as we were announcing Alex. I couldn’t help but self-reflect on what a difference it is. Here’s a great player in Russell Westbrook, played in OKC, wanted to be traded, went to Houston, wanted to be traded, came to D.C., wanted to be traded and is now in L.A. He’s an unbelievably great person and an unbelievably great player. But that’s the difference between the NBA and the NHL, I suppose.”
NBA Central: “Here’s a great player in Russell Westbrook, played in OKC, wanted to be traded, went to Houston, wanted to be traded, came to D.C., wanted to be traded and is now in L.A.” – Wizards Owner Ted Leonsis on Russell Westbrook 😯 (Via ESPN) pic.twitter.com/Mzen1eu9Aq
Fred Katz: Ted Leonsis says that one of the reasons the Wizards targeted assistant coaches is because he doesn’t think second or third-time coaches always work as hard. Says players talked about “the little things” in exit interviews, like defensive intensity and communication.