Apex, the sports and entertainment investment company, has today (October 17) unveiled its participation in a funding round for the Alpine Racing Formula 1 (F1) motor racing team.
The funding round has been led by Otro Capital, a US-based private investment firm, and as part of the agreement, Apex has brought in investment from several sports stars.
These include UK boxer Anthony Joshua, soccer players Trent Alexander-Arnold and Juan Mata, and tennis icon Alexander Zverev.
Portugal-based Apex has said the plan is to “leverage each athlete’s international following to diversify Alpine’s fan base and attract not only Formula 1 enthusiasts but sports fans across the world.” There will also be activations with those athletes being present around Alpine at F1 races, too.
The athletes will work alongside Alpine through the partnership, to “drive new commercial strategies that will also integrate best practices from their respective sports into F1."
Athlete investors in Alpine already include American football’s Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, and golf heavyweight Rory McIlroy.
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This will represent the first minority stake in an F1 engine manufacturer sold to private equity.
Antonio Cacorino, Apex’s founder and chief executive, said: "When Otro asked us to partner with them to bring our European sports and media expertise, and insider F1 knowledge to the table – we had to say yes to this opportunity.
“Alpine is one of the most exciting F1 teams out there, and both Otro and our athletes share a common vision for the future of racing, which we can’t wait to test out together.”
Apex has said that the funding will be used by Alpine to help the team continue to invest in its technology, to help it compete with other F1 engine manufacturers such as Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull.
Last month, Apex launched a €50 million athlete-driven fund backed by several high-profile names including F1 stars Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, and international soccer players Raphaël Varane and Christian Eriksen.
At that point, the firm said it was “poised to reshape the landscape of sports, media, and entertainment by channeling the expertise and vision of world-renowned athletes.”
In a recent interview with GlobalData, Cacorino said: "The wealth management that athletes need is something that has really improved over the last 40 years.
“Most athletes have that part done, so we wanted to take it to the next step by looking at how to get them to become actively involved in investing. We analyze why they should do it, whether they're interested in doing it, and if they have the platform to become relevant investors.
“Our belief is yes, and that they should do it in the sports, media, and entertainment space. That's where they come from and what they know. That's where they have a strong network, unique industry insights, and the commercial value is even more relevant.”
In total, Apex works with more than 70 athletes in 15 different sports and over 30 leagues around the world, (including the English Premier League and WSL, F1, American football’s NFL, golf’s PGA, and tennis’ WTA) and it believes the biggest investment opportunities will be open to them before they retire.
Apex was launched in 2020 and has so far closed 15 investments, including with TMRW Sports, the tech-focused sports, media, and entertainment venture founded by golf stars Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy and sports industry executive Mike McCarley.
It has also invested in several tech companies such as PlaySight, Spalk, MyLads, Footlab, and Full Venue, as well as sports media asset manager ScorePlay.