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Going off the Grid
SportsBusiness Journal – March 16, 2017 – Alex Silverman

“Going Off The Grid” is a weekly survey of sports execs and personalities offering their thoughts on a handful of pressing (and trivial) issues in sports and pop culture. This week, our panel sounds off on Oscar snubs, pitches their own “30 for 30” ideas and forecasts the NCAA Tournament. Continue reading

 

United Soccer League Sees Attendance Rise 33%
Forbes – October 22, 2016 – Darren Heitner

The sports sector has experienced impressive valuation growth in the last three or four years. What people may not know is the USL is setting the pace in terms of percentage growth with an amazing 111% compound annual growth rate in valuations over the last four years,” says Brent Lawrence, CEO of Accelerate Sports. “With team owners from major sports franchises such as the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, Cincinnati Reds, and eleven MLS teams, the long-term future of the USL is even better.” Continue reading


Charlotte Independence looking for MLS investors
Charlotte Business JournalOctober 11, 2016 – Erik Spanberg

Independence managing partner Jim McPhilliamy enlisted Accelerate Sports, a boutique sports investment bank based in Sacramento, to help find the deep pockets needed to pursue an MLS expansion team. Brent Lawrence, Accelerate founder and CEO, has advised Sacramento Republic FC, which, like Charlotte, is a member of the United Soccer League. Sacramento is expected to win an MLS team soon, powered in part by a fan following that has boosted the team to 45 sellouts in 47 home matches since 2014.The NBA Sacramento Kings and the NFL San Francisco 49ers became part of the Republic’s ownership in 2015. McPhilliamy and Lawrence are eyeing similar prospects in Charlotte. On Tuesday, Lawrence told me Charlotte boasts many of the attributes the MLS is looking for: a growing population of millennials; a good geographic location between existing franchises in Atlanta, Orlando and Washington; a top 25 TV market (Charlotte ranks 22nd in the U.S.); a history of major league sports; and a strong business sector. Continue reading


IS THE NFL TOO BIG TO FAIL? PART 1
CSN Bay AreaNovember 28, 2016 – Andy Dolich, Advisory Board member of Accelerate Sports

In Northern California alone, the costs of new and planned stadiums for the 49ers, Earthquakes, Warriors, Kings, Raiders and A’s add up to $5.5 billion. The new stadium mega-city being built for the Los Angeles Rams will cost $2.6 billion and a planned stadium in Las Vegas for the Raiders is estimated to cost $1.9 billion. Many communities are telling billionaire owners that they will have to shoulder the majority of the cost of their new football homes. Continue reading


Oakland A’s must begin walking the talk
East Bay Times- November 21, 2016 – Andy Dolich

As long as MLB revenue sharing rolls on the A’s “Moneyball” model is generating increasing yearly profit for Fisher and greatly enhanced his franchise value from the original $180 million purchase price. He could sell in an hour for a bundle, maybe as much as a billion Continue reading


New attempt to keep Raiders in Oakland emerges
East Bay Times- October 26, 2016David DeBolt

Besides competing with Las Vegas, other obstacles exist in each city, according to Andy Dolich, a longtime sports executive, and Roger Noll, a professor emeritus of economics at Stanford. Both have closely followed the saga…Continue reading


INVESTING IN SPORTS STARTUPS
Stanford Business Sports Innovation Conference – March 2016 – Panel Interview

There has been a flurry of investment activity into early stage ventures at the intersection of sports, media, and technology in recent years, with investors putting an estimated $1B into such companies in 2014 alone (TechCrunch, April 24, 2015). This panel seeks to understand why we have seen so much recent investment activity, to identify key trends behind successful sports investments, and to discuss major areas for growth and innovation in the near future…Mr. Lawrence is the lead negotiator and directs the business development efforts for Accelerate Sports…Continue reading


Accelerate Sports Names College Hoops Analyst Len Elmore To Advisory Board
SportsBusiness Journal – June 02, 2015 –  John Lombardo

Boutique sport investment bank Accelerate Sports has named veteran broadcaster LEN ELMORE to its advisory board. Elmore joins industry veteran ANDY DOLICH, former NASL Commissioner DAVID DOWNS and former Cisco Senior VP & GM DAVE HOLLAND as advisory board members. Continue reading


Len Elmore: A force inside
SportsBusiness Journal – March 9, 2015 – John Ourand

“Len brings these issues to the discussion before they’re on the radar of national leaders,” Perko said. “Len sees these issues and approaches them in a principled way.” Television producers at CBS and ESPN said they value Elmore for his strong opinions. This year, he will call his 17th NCAA tournament for CBS. Continue reading


Plugged In: Brent Lawrence, Accelerate Sports
SportsBusiness Journal – March 3, 2014 – Christopher Botta

Team valuations in pro sports: We had the worst economic crisis in the modern era from 2008 to 2012, yet, on the average, franchise valuations continued to increase, although at lower rates than in prior years. Now that the economy is on a positive upswing, more people have disposable income to spend on entertainment, so the television rights deals continue to grow hand in hand with team valuations. There’s essentially inelastic demand for teams, and that’s not going to change in our lifetimes. Continue reading


What we miss when we’re constantly looking down, not up
SportsBusiness Journal- June 23, 2014 – Andy Dolich

Why would you want to buy a pricey ticket to sit behind home plate when MLB.com offers access to every one of its 2,430 regular-season games for $130. We now have NFL RedZone, NHL Center Ice, NBA Game Time and MLS Live. Looking down is becoming much more compelling. Look up and you may miss something. Everyone with a phone is now their own sports channel. Continue reading


Catching up with David Downs — bonus conversation
SportsBusiness Journal- January 15, 2014- Abe Madkour, SBJ executive editor

When it comes to MLS, he says, “They have done a great job and I think the sport is here to stay in a big, big way. No longer can the MLS use the excuse that Americans aren’t interested in soccer. It’s just a matter of where they fit in this global sport. Continue reading