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UK-Based Family Office, Partners Create New MLS Soccer Team

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 22 May 2023

UK-Based Family Office, Partners Create New MLS Soccer Team

The story is also an example of how family offices get involved in sports in the US and other parts of the world.

A group including Man Capital, the London-based, family office of entrepreneur Mohamed Mansour, is buying a new team in San Diego that competes in Major League Soccer. 

The team, which will play at Snapdragon Stadium, will be jointly owned by Man Capital and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, which will become the first Native American tribe to have an ownership stake in professional football in the US. The Sycuan Tribe has resided in and around San Diego for more than 12,000 years.

Also joining the investor group is six-time Major League Baseball All-Star and member of the San Diego Padres, Manny Machado. Other founding partners include Brad Termini, co-founder, Zephyr Partners, Tom Vernon, founder, Right to Dream and Dan Dickinson, board member, Right to Dream. Sports executive Tom Penn will serve as the club’s CEO.

The development is also an example of how family offices get involved in sports. To some extent they straddle the idea of a "hobby" pursued for the love of it, investment, and the philanthropic notion of encouraging healthy pursuits, competition, teamwork and excellence. In November 2020 hedge fund tycoon Steven Cohen completed his $2.4 billion purchase of the New York Mets baseball team, becoming its CEO. (In 2014 Cohen changed his US-based SAC Capital Advisors firm to a family office structure, calling it Point72 Asset Management, later returning to managing external client money in 2018.) In Europe, Saxo Bank co-founder Lars Christensen, who has a Swiss family office, Seier Capital, is co-owner of FC Copenhagen, the Danish soccer team. Saxo was a prominent sponsor of a Tour de France team (winning in 2008 and 2010) and has also been prominent in other cycling races.

Welcome
MLS Commissioner Don Garber welcomed the arrival of the new team, the 30th in the league. “For many years we have believed San Diego would be a terrific MLS market due to its youthful energy, great diversity and where soccer is an essential part of everyday life for so many people.”

Mansour has been involved in sports for some time. Man Capital owns Right to Dream, the global soccer community of academies, clubs and partners that seek to spot and nurture talent. Man Capital was founded in 2010. 

One of 12 Kumeyaay tribes in San Diego County, Sycuan has been a long-term partner with institutions in the community, including the San Diego Padres, San Diego Symphony, Children’s Hospital, and non-profits.

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