Today: Jun 14, 2024

Ackerleys pivot from Leeds United, launching sports-tech investment arm.

6 months ago
  • Ted and Chris Ackerley, part-owners of Seattle’s NHL franchise, the Seattle Kraken, have launched a new sports and media investment arm called Ackerley Sports Group (ASG).
  • ASG intends to invest in sports teams, leagues and growth stage companies, with Leeds United Football Club being the first investment.
  • The Ackerley brothers are also involved in a SPAC, ESH Acquisition Corp, which aims to target entities in the entertainment, sports, and hospitality sectors.

The Seattle-based brothers, Ted and Chris Ackerley, recently announced the creation of Ackerley Sports Group (ASG), a new arm of their long-standing investment firm, Ackerley Partners. This new entity is designed to focus on investments in the sports and media sectors, specifically targeting teams, leagues and growth stage companies. The announcement comes just two years after their recent purchase of the Seattle Kraken, Seattle’s NHL franchise.

Alongside their involvement in the NHL, the Ackerley brothers have also recently taken ownership stakes in Leeds United Football Club, one of the major soccer franchises in England. This investment marks the first venture for ASG and highlights the intention of the firm to continue to tap into the potentially lucrative field of sports.

The sports sector is not the only area of interest for the Ackerley brothers. Apart from ASG, they are involved in a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), called ESH Acquisition Corp, which was launched in June 2023 with an initial public offering (IPO), raising $115 million. ESH Acquisition Corp aims to target businesses in the entertainment, sports, and hospitality sectors.

The Ackerley family has deep roots in sports and media. Ted and Chris are the sons of the late Barry Ackerley, who was a Seattle businessman and founder of The Ackerley Group media company. The Ackerley Group, which sold in 2002 for over $800 million, owned the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics for 18 years. Today, Ackerley Partners, spearheaded by Ted and Chris, continues to invest in various Seattle tech startups, beyond their latest venture into sports.