The New York Yankees baseball team has its hand in a major soccer purchase.
RedBird Capital Partners, a New York-based capital firm, purchased a Milan-based Italian football club for the price of $1.2 billion, with several other smaller stakes in the purchase as well.
“AC Milan announced their latest ownership change on Wednesday, which involves a minority stake for the New York Yankees,” reports ESPN.
Yankee Global Enterprises, the parent company of The New York Yankees, has a stake in the purchase, which means AC Milan content could possibly be hosted by services like YES, Amazon, and Sinclair Broadcast Group, Bloomberg reports.
Why it’s news
The purchase marks a fascinating convergence of international sports markets and cross-cultural appeal. Soccer has slowly become more popular in the U.S. over the past few decades, but baseball has very limited appeal outside of America and Japan.
Associazione Calcio Milan, also known as AC Milan or simply Milan, is a professional Italian soccer team and one of the biggest names in international sports.
“AC Milan, known as the Rossoneri, has won the Champions League and its predecessor competition seven times, second only to Real Madrid, and is among the most recognizable names in European football. The team is currently third in Serie A, after winning the league last season for the first time since 2011,” says Bloomberg.
The Yankees throwing their hat into the ring for partial ownership of a major soccer team suggests where the winds are blowing on the future of soccer and its appeal to American audiences.
RedBird is also an owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
“For 123 years, AC Milan has been synonymous with championship-level football,” says Redbird’s press release.
“As the new owner of AC Milan, RedBird will continue to invest in all the key areas that will advance the Club’s sporting and commercial interests, building on last season’s achievements that culminated in the club’s Serie A championship. RedBird’s experience in operating and building global sports businesses will ensure that the next chapter in AC Milan’s storied history will build on its current momentum.”