OneTeam Partners Announces Sale of RedBird Capital Stake to HPS, Atlantic Park and Morgan Stanley, Recapitalizing the Premier Athlete Licensing and Marketing Company
WASHINGTON D.C. (September 15, 2022) – OneTeam Partners (OneTeam), the leader in commercializing group licensing rights of professional and collegiate athletes, announced today that HPS Investment Partners (HPS), Atlantic Park Strategic Capital Fund (Atlantic Park) and Morgan Stanley Tactical Value (Morgan Stanley) are joining as investment partners. The syndicate replaces RedBird Capital Partners (RedBird) who founded OneTeam in 2019 alongside the NFL Players Association and MLB Players Association. This transaction positions OneTeam for its next chapter of growth, with significant opportunities to diversify the business and expand into new areas.
OneTeam has experienced substantial growth since its founding. In just three years, OneTeam has become a leading global sports licensing, marketing, media and investment company representing the commercial interests of more than 10,000 players of the NFLPA, MLBPA, MLSPA, U.S. Women’s National Team PA, WNBPA, NWSLPA, U.S. Rugby PA, and the LCSPA, as well as college athletes.
Malaika Underwood, Interim CEO of OneTeam Partners, said: “This partnership marks an important moment in OneTeam’s evolution. RedBird and the Players Associations’ support and trust in our leadership team enabled this groundbreaking company to exceed our already high expectations for ourselves. OneTeam now represents commercial rights for eight Players Associations and thousands of college athletes. We have generated hundreds of millions of dollars for athletes across football, baseball, basketball, soccer, rugby, and more. We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities for continued growth with our new investment partners HPS, Atlantic Park and Morgan Stanley. Their vision aligns with ours, and we’re eager to get to work with them on behalf of the athletes we represent.”
DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA, commented: “OneTeam shifted the paradigm. Over the last three years, working with RedBird and our Players Associations, OneTeam tapped into the power of collective rights and achieved incredible results that have advanced the interests of thousands of female and male athletes. We have found strong partners in HPS, Atlantic Park and Morgan Stanley, and OneTeam will continue to thrive, deepening and expanding group player rights.”
Tony Clark, Executive Director of the MLBPA, said: “In a remarkably short time, our vision in creating OneTeam as a new business model for elite athletes seeking to maximize their collective rights has already demonstrated its value. Our new investment partners believe in our mission to empower athletes in the marketplace and are well-positioned to help take our endeavor to new heights.”
Becca Roux, Executive Director of the USWNTPA, stated: “OneTeam Partners is a powerhouse. Since partnering, they’ve been doing the work to help athletes, particularly women athletes, maximize their commercial rights. The USWNT Players have benefitted from incredible opportunities. Our new investment partners are in sync with the mission. We’re excited for the next evolution of OneTeam and keeping the momentum going into the future.”
Scot French, Managing Director at HPS, remarked: “We are excited to partner with OneTeam to help drive continued growth in one of the most innovative and efficient licensing and marketing platforms in professional and college sports. The strong alignment among HPS, OneTeam and the Players Associations in our collective goal of maximizing the value of athletes’ rights through this platform, provides a strong foundation for a successful long-term partnership.”
PJT Partners, a premier global advisory-focused investment bank, served as the exclusive advisor to OneTeam.
About OneTeam Partners
A licensing, athlete marketing and media powerhouse, OneTeamPartners launched in 2019 as a joint venture between the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), MLB Players Association (MLBPA), and RedBird Capital Partners to maximize the collective value of athletes’ rights through group licensing, marketing, media and other ventures. The company represents a range of commercial business interests on behalf of the athletes of the NFLPA, MLBPA, MLSPA, U.S. Women’s National Team PA, WNBPA, NWSLPA, U.S. Rugby PA, and League of Legends Championship Series PA, as well as those of thousands of college athletes. To learn more visit www.joinoneteam.com.
HPS Investment Partners
HPS Investment Partners is a leading global investment firm that seeks to provide creative capital solutions and generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for our clients. We manage various strategies across the capital structure that include syndicated leveraged loans and high yield bonds to privately negotiated senior secured debt and mezzanine investments, asset-based leading and private equity. The scale and breadth of our platform offers the flexibility to invest in companies large and small, through standard or customized solutions. At our core, we share a common thread of intellectual rigor and discipline that enables us to create value for our clients, who have entrusted us with approximately $80 billion of assets under management as of December 2021. For more information, please visit www.hpspartners.com.
Atlantic Park is a strategic joint venture between General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm established more than 40 years ago, and Iron Park Capital Partners, a deeply experienced credit-focused asset manager. Atlantic Park provides capital solutions to address financing needs for high-quality companies seeking a trusted partner. Atlantic Park takes a broad industry focus and partners with companies spanning a number of sectors, including Consumer, Financial Services, Healthcare and Technology, with a focus on companies in the United States and Europe. For more information, please visit www.atlanticpark.com.
About Morgan Stanley Tactical Value
Morgan Stanley Tactical Value, a team within Morgan Stanley Investment Management, is focused on providing nimble capital with the flexibility to invest across asset classes, sectors and geographies in changing market environments. Given our investments are not constrained by a single standard asset class, we have the flexibility to partner with each company in such a way that meets their unique strategic and financial objectives. Our team’s expertise, including deep structuring experience, is complemented by Morgan Stanley’s broad capabilities to meet bespoke capital needs or analyze idiosyncratic risks. For more information, please visit www.morganstanley.com/im/tacticalvalue.
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