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Boks set for massive multi-million dollar cash injection

The Springbok brand could be taken to new heights with the news that the South African Rugby Union (SARU) is on the verge of completing a multi-million dollar investment with American sports company Ackerley Partners.


In a statement released by the Ackerley Sports Group (ASG) on Thursday, the company confirmed that they are negotiating a partnership agreement to invest in South African rugby at all levels, supporting the professional game, and growing the revenue base of the Springboks and SARU’s commercial activities.

The statement revealed that ASG will invest in a Commercial Rights Corporation (CRC), which will hold all current and future revenue-generating assets of the Springboks and SARU. CRC will be majority-owned by SARU, with ASG taking a significant minority interest.

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While ASG has not released the in-depth specifics of the deal, a United States media outlet Sportica reported that Ackerley Partners is poised to invest $75 million (ZAR1.4 billion) in the governing body SARU.

Sportica also reported that SARU will be the majority owner of the new entity, while ASG will hold a roughly 20 percent stake, implying a total business valuation of around $378 million (more than ZAR7 billion).


The media outlet added that the deal is expected to be finalised in May pending the approval of SARU members.

Co-founder Ted Ackerley said that ASG intends to expand the Springboks’ global reach.

“We are excited to partner with a legendary global sports franchise like the Springboks,” said Ted Ackerley, Co-Founder of Ackerley Sports Group.

“Our collaboration will establish a worldwide expansion of the most iconic brand in rugby.


“This investment in the Springboks represents a unique opportunity for us to match the on-field success of the team with the resources needed to establish and sustain the franchise as a global powerhouse.

“We will bring decades of experience and passion for excellence with us while listening carefully to the people of South Africa to ensure that this team continues to reflect the history and culture of this amazing country.”

With the 2031 World Cup heading to the United States, a deal like this will be a major benefit for the Springboks.

There have been reports that SARU was in talks with Six Nations partners CVC Capital Partners.

However, those negotiations appear to have halted.

Who is ASG

Ackerley Sports Group is an expansion of the investment practice established in 2002 by Ted and Christopher Ackerley at Ackerley Partners and includes four other members of the team, including their London-based partner, Timothy Kirkwood, who is overseeing the Springbok’s relationship.

Ackerley Partners has owned all or a part of a number of professional sports franchises, including the Seattle SuperSonics, the Seattle Storm, the Seattle Seadogs, the Seattle Seawolves, the Coachella Firebirds and most recently the launch of the 32nd NHL franchise, the Seattle Kraken. ASG also recently partnered with 49ers Enterprises to assume majority control of the Leeds United Football Club.

Ackerley Sports Group was formed in 2023 by Christopher and Ted Ackerley of Ackerley Partners, LLC in Seattle, WA along with their London-based partner – Timothy Kirkwood who brings a prolific background in international finance and investment banking. The platform invests in the sports sector with a focus on leagues, teams, venues, media, technology and development opportunities.

Sources: Ackerley Sports Group & Sportica 

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