PHF in talks with investor groups to buy existing or potential expansion teams
The GIST: Folks at this month’s Women’s World Championship aren’t the only ones hyped for women’s hockey. Per a Wednesday report, the PHF is in talks with five investor groups to buy existing or potential expansion teams in an effort to change its current ownership structure.
The details: Three Ontario-based groups are eyeing the PHF’s two Canadian teams, the Toronto Six and Montréal Force. South of the border, Washington, D.C.–based venture capital exec Scott Jaeckel and an unnamed Chicago investor have expressed interest in buying expansion teams.
- The PHF is prioritizing sales of existing franchises, since it would end the league’s overlapping ownership setup. BTM Partners holds stakes in the Force, the Six, the Metropolitan Riveters and the Boston Pride, while NLTT Ventures controls the Buffalo Beauts and Minnesota Whitecaps.
The value: The PHF hopes to collect $5M to $7M for existing and expansion teams, which marks a notable increase from last year when the Six’s new owners paid between $3M and $5M for the franchise. This new figure means the league values its franchises at 10x the average revenue they generate.
- The PHF’s valuation measurement aligns with fellow young teams and leagues, which base their figures on potential ROI. The NWSL’s Angel City values itself at 10x sponsorship revenue, while MLS teams measure themselves at around 12.2x revenue.
The growth: Over the last year, business prospects have trended upwards for the PHF. In January 2022, the league’s board of governors invested $25M in the players, allowing for a higher salary cap than both the WNBA and NWSL next year.
- The league is also earning more airtime in the States. The All-Star Game and Isobel Cup championship game were on ESPN2, and viewership for the latter rose nearly 220% YoY. Power play.
The lingering questions: New investment in the PHF demonstrates genuine interest in women’s hockey, but it’s also worth asking: How much attention can the league command once the first puck drops in the PWHPA’s league? The PHF’s competition is slated to arrive this fall and will host the sport’s top talent. More layers than an onion.