DFL trades itself a piece of the sports tech action with new equity investment strategy

Christian Siefert

October 12 – The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) is building an investment portfolio focussed on technology start-ups and SMEs that could have a direct impact on their business.

Taglined ‘DFL for Equity’, the strategy is to create a portfolio of investments in innovative and promising companies in the media, technology and sports industries. It will acquire shares in companies primarily through intangible assets (ie not cash), but also through collaborations with further partners.

The DFL says it is a continuation of a strategy is has had since 2006 to cover the entire media value chain of German professional football, from the production of the base signal for media partners and the capture and processing of match data through to the marketing of broadcasting rights.

“DFL’s ability to systematically cover the media value chain is what sets it apart in the arena of international football,” said Christian Seifert (pictured), CEO of the DFL. “In the interests of both the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs, we want to draw much greater benefit in the future from the positive growth of companies that are closely allied with DFL.”

Israeli start-up Track160 is the DFL’s first equity investment under the ‘DFL for Equity’ banner. The DFL’s stake of about 10% secures it a variable deferred profit share. In return, Track160 will gain access to the DFL’s match database and digital football archive, enabling it to develop its artificial-intelligence-based analytics system faster and, with the aid of the DFL network, to grow rapidly both at home and abroad.

The new partnership is expected to make a substantial contribution to Track160’s future as a ‘DFL invested company’.

“We are excited about the new opportunities our partnership with DFL will open up for us. The sportstech industry is transitioning to a new era, one in which data and AI-based technologies will make fascinating new applications possible. We want to revolutionize the world of sports with disruptive new coaching, media, scouting and gaming applications,” says Dr. Miky Tamir, co-founder and chairman of Track160.

Contact the writer of this story James Vukmirovic at moc.l1561013538labto1561013538ofdlr1561013538owedi1561013538sni@o1561013538fni1561013538