Pitch International, the UK-based sports marketing agency, has today announced a deal to invest in event promotions company Matchroom Sport.

As part of the deal, the agency will acquire a minority stake holding in Matchroom Sport with the founding Hearn family retaining majority control.

Through a global partnership, the two parties will also collaborate on international media rights, global events, and major sports sponsorships across the Matchroom Group portfolio – including Matchroom Boxing, the Professional Darts Corporation, World Snooker, and Matchroom MultiSport. 

It was first reported in 2022 that Barry and Eddie Hearn, the father and son duo behind Matchroom Sport, were seeking investment and had held talks with private equity firms about the potential sale of a minority stake in the company.

At the time, the Hearns were understood to be in contact with at least three private equity firms, with KKR, CVC Capital Partners, and Searchlight Capital all reported to have been interested in a potential deal – in the end, however, nothing materialized.

Founded in 1982, Matchroom has gone from strength to strength over the years and now has a major presence in the likes of boxing, darts, and snooker, as well as a host of smaller interests elsewhere.

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Among its most significant moves in recent years have been the agreement of a $1-billion boxing tie-up in the US with the international sports streaming platform DAZN (which was extended last year and has subsequently been built upon in Canada, Italy, Spain, and the UK) and the securing of British heavyweight boxing star Anthony Joshua for the remainder of his career.

The company claims to promote more than 600 event days and over 2400 hours of original programming per year.

Pitch International, meanwhile, was launched in 2004 by Paul McGrath and Jon Owen and is known for its representation of global media rights, management and delivery of sports events and hospitality, sponsorship advisory services, and the production of sports films and documentaries.

Barry Hearn, Matchroom Sport president, said: “This unique partnership with Pitch International heralds a momentous day for Matchroom – and it lays the foundations for our future growth and success.

“I am confident that now, with this significant investment, our family business will be propelled to greater heights as we bring the best talent together to deliver world-class events and unrivaled entertainment to sports fans for many more years to come.”

Oliver Slipper, Pitch International executive chairman, added: “I have worked with Matchroom for over 20 years and have the utmost respect for the incredible business they have built.

“Together this deal strengthens both Pitch International and Matchroom and I am excited to work together to create new sports events, further globalize our respective audiences, and continue the outstanding growth both companies have achieved in the last decade.”

In recent months, Pitch International was unveiled as an international media rights sales partner for the EFL, English soccer’s second-tier structure, across the 2024-28 cycle, and also for the British and Irish Lions and Rugby Australia.