Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has launched a new sports investment company to “accelerate the growth of the sports sector” in its home country and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
SRJ Sports Investments will invest in acquiring and creating new sports events' intellectual property (IP), securing commercial rights for prominent sports competitions, and hosting major global events in Saudi Arabia.
The PIF said the investments are expected to deliver financial returns and localize partnerships domestically and in the MENA region.
The new company will target businesses specialized in offering fan engagement activities and sports technology across the industry.
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— Public Investment Fund (@PIF_en) August 6, 2023
Raid Ismail, head of MENA direct investments at PIF, said: “We are thrilled to announce the establishment of SRJ Sports Investments Company to accelerate the growth of the sports sector in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region, by creating and investing in international sports IP, enhancing the fan experience through hosting major global events and investing in transformative technologies.
“The company will complement other PIF investments in the sports sector, all of which are contributing to a more vibrant society, in line with PIF’s strategy and Saudi Vision 2030.”
The PIF recently acquired controlling stakes in four leading domestic soccer clubs to grow the national league.
The fund acquired a 75% stake in Al Hilal, Al Nassr, Al Ittihad, and Al Ahli of the top-tier Saudi Pro League.
The move is part of the Sports Clubs Investment and Privatization Project launched in early June by Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The initiative, which aims to encourage private investment in the sports sector, is aligned with the kingdom’s Vision 2030 and will have a particular focus on soccer.
The PIF also owns Newcastle United after its controversial takeover of the English Premier League club was approved in October 2021.
Outside of soccer, the sovereign wealth fund owns the LIV golf circuit, which has rivaled the traditional PGA Tour in recent years but merged with the US golf body at the beginning of June.
The PIF is also reportedly holding talks with the ATP, the organizer of the top men’s tennis tour, about possible co-investments as the kingdom continues to expand its activities in sports.