Discover how the Saudi Public Investment Fund is eyeing investments in the Professional Fighters League and LPGA Tour. Learn about their plans to expand their presence in combat sports and promote gender equality in golf.
Saudi Public Investment Fund Explores Opportunities in Sports Leagues
The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) is looking to expand its presence in the sports market by targeting two growing leagues. According to Donn Davis, the founder and chairman of the Professional Fighters League (PFL), the global mixed martial arts league is interested in seeking investments from sovereign wealth funds. In an interview, Davis expressed the league’s openness to investors from outside the United States, aligning with PIF’s interest in combat sports.
The PFL, although relatively young, has already made a significant impact. In May, it signed heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou away from the UFC, gaining attention and recognition. The league was valued at $500 million a year prior to the signing and has received investments from MLB legend Alex Rodriguez and Monumental Sports & Entertainment owner Ted Leonsis.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) could also be a potential target for the PFL. In July, the QIA purchased a 5% stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and NHL’s Washington Capitals.
Meanwhile, the Saudi PIF’s merger with the PGA Tour is progressing after a surprising announcement in June. As part of its efforts to promote gender equality in sports, the fund is considering investing in the women’s game. The LPGA Tour, a prominent women’s golf tour, could be a suitable option for investment. Rose Zhang, a rising star in the LPGA, believes that an investment from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund could help bridge the gap between the men’s and women’s game.
It is worth noting that Saudi Arabia has faced criticism for its human rights record, particularly regarding gender equality. However, figures like Billie Jean King and Jessica Pegula argue that investments from the Saudi PIF could contribute to achieving gender pay equity in sports leagues, similar to the impact it could have on the WTA Tour.
In conclusion, the Saudi Public Investment Fund is exploring opportunities to expand its influence in the sports market. With potential investments in the Professional Fighters League and the LPGA Tour, the fund aims to make a significant impact on combat sports and promote gender equality in golf.