Startups & VCs

NFL’s 32 Equity invests in Blue Star Sports

League's investment arm backs Texas-based sports technology company.

by Michael Long

NFL’s 32 Equity invests in Blue Star Sports

32 Equity, the investment arm of the National Football League (NFL), has made a strategic investment in sports technology company Blue Star Sports.

Though financial terms have not been released, funds generated through the investment will be used to ‘fuel continued acquisitions in the sports technology space’, with Blue Star Sports, a Frisco, Texas-based firm backed by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, eyeing further growth in the youth sports content sector.

32 Equity’s investment coincides with Blue Star’s acquisition of STACK, a media company that provides educational videos and other online content to athletes, coaches and parents.

32 Equity was established by the NFL's 32 teams in March 2013 under an investment partnership with Providence Equity Partners. At the time, it was reported that the entity would target media and technology companies with investments of between US$25 million and US$50 million.

An official statement said ‘the NFL will collaborate with Blue Star Sports on ways to enhance NFL Youth programmes and support participation in the sport of football.’

Blue Star’s vision is to enable athletes of all ages to create athletic profiles and access tools to boost their development. The company, which currently claims to have more than 45 million global users in 32 countries, recently launched ‘Soccer Connect’, a data and technology platform for members of US Soccer, the national governing body for soccer in the United States.

"The vision for Blue Star Sports has always been to transform all aspects of youth sports through the entire value chain,” said Rob Wechsler, the company’s founder and chief executive. “Blue Star Sports now has every product for every sport at every level everywhere sports are played.

“Now with the acquisition of STACK and support of the NFL, we are positioned to further accelerate our growth and make an even bigger impact on the youth sports ecosystem with innovative technology solutions, content, media educational tools and in-person events focused on player development.”

As well as Jones, Blue Star Sports counts Providence Equity and Genstar Capital among its strategic investors. It was launched in April 2016 and has since completed 14 acquisitions in the software, content and player development sectors.

Following its latest acquisition, STACK chief executive Nick Palazzo will become chief digital officer at Blue Star Sports.