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Endeavor acquires NFL-backed On Location Experiences

Sports and entertainment agency Endeavor has acquired a majority equity ownership stake in experiential hospitality company On Location Experiences, the official hospitality partner of American football league the NFL.

Endeavor, whose portfolio of companies include the WME and IMG agencies and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), was first linked with On Location in April and has acquired its stake from existing investors in a deal reportedly valued at $660m (£503.5m/€591.6m).

Along with the NFL, On Location is a partner to more than 150 other rights holders, such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), golf body the PGA of America and the US Tennis Association (USTA).

The company provides official access for both corporate clients and fans looking for immersive experiences at marquee events including the Super Bowl, which this year takes place on February 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami after 2019’s event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, alongside the Pro Bowl, NFL Draft, NCAA Final Four, PGA of America events, numerous college football bowl games and the tennis majors.

On Location, which was originally a part of the NFL, has been privately held since 2015 by RedBird Capital Partners, Bruin Sports Capital, the Carlyle Group and 32 Equity, the NFL’s investment platform. Under the new ownership, 32 Equity will remain a major shareholder and the NFL will enhance its strategic partnership with On Location focusing on providing NFL fans, partners and clubs access to its suite of premium hospitality offerings.

The two parties said On Location will seek to enhance its existing sports and entertainment offerings, including its long-term relationship with the NFL, by leveraging Endeavor’s access to content and experiences across entertainment, sports and fashion.

Former Bloomberg chief revenue officer, Paul Caine, will lead the newly integrated entity as president. John Collins, On Location’s CEO for the past four years, will serve as an advisor to the company and Endeavor through the integration period.

“By bringing together a leader like On Location with Endeavor’s access and reach, we can advance the way consumers and brands think about money-can’t-buy experiences,” said Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor. “Partnering with the NFL will enable us to leverage the best-in-class executions around one of the biggest events in the world, the Super Bowl, and extend this same level of service and experiences to other sports and entertainment properties globally.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell added: “We are excited to partner with Endeavor to grow On Location Experiences globally. We are committed to offering NFL fans unique and first-class experiences at our events. On Location shares this commitment and delivers value for its partners and delights fans at events around the world.”

Image: Mercedes-Benz Stadium