Shift positions of both companies to capitalize on growing interest in soccer and youth sports in the US
HILLSBOROUGH, NC, August 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Seawall Capital, a private equity firm that invests in founder-led consumer businesses, today announced its investment in Sports Endeavors, Inc.
Sports Endeavors is the team behind Soccer.com, the leading source for player and fan gear in the U.S. Soccer.com partners with leading youth soccer clubs, aspiring soccer players, their parents and coaches, and fans to provide those devices of the highest quality. expert advice and inspirational stories.
Sewall is excited to partner with the Sports Endeavors team led by Mike and Brendan Moylan, the founders and leaders of the Company since its inception. The investment aligns with Sewall’s strategy of partnering with businesses in the outdoor, fitness and recreation sectors. Other Seawall-related properties include Kent Outdoors (www.kentoutdoors.co) and Yoga Movement Climbing + Fitness (www.movementgyms.com).
Sports Endeavors was founded over 35 years ago as a direct-to-consumer retailer by brothers Mike and Brendan Moylan. While still in high school, the Moylans produced their first Eurosport soccer catalog in 1984, which quickly developed a cult following among the growing American soccer community. Sports Endeavors then registered the domain Soccer.com in 1994 and began building what has become the premier destination for soccer apparel, equipment, custom team jerseys and content.
Soccer.com has become the preferred team kit provider for the best youth football clubs and academies around United States. In addition to Soccer.com, Sports Endeavors owns WorldSoccerShop, the online destination for soccer fans, and 431 Sports, which offers a similar integrated uniform solution for baseball, softball and volleyball teams. The company is based on North Carolina and operates one of the largest sports jersey customization facilities in the US
“Sports Endeavors perfectly aligns with our goal of partnering with passionate founders with great management teams in businesses and categories that have loyal and dedicated consumers,” said. Matt Eby, founder and managing partner of Seawall Capital. “As more and more people play and watch football here United States, Soccer.com is positioned to grow the game of soccer, both at the player and fan level. We are eager and excited to work with this dedicated and talented management team as they continue to build the authentic destination and resource for soccer players and fans nationwide and around the world.”
The rise in popularity of football over the past 3 decades has been staggering. Today, the cumulative annual value of American professional soccer media rights, including European leagues and the World Cup, is roughly equal to that of MLB. The growth of football fans is paralleled by the growth of youth participation in football. The return to play in youth soccer that emerged from the global pandemic has been strong and is expected to accelerate with the USA hosting the FIFA Men’s World Cup™ in 2026.
“Our partnership with Seawall Capital will allow us to help more people follow their passion for football and sport by helping us bridge the gap on several important projects that will improve our reach, speed and support for youth sports organisations, ” he said. Mike Moylan, Co-Founder and CEO of Sports Endeavors. “It’s an exciting time for soccer globally. Seawall Capital’s investment will help us aggressively build our company to meet the future opportunities we see coming from increased participation in youth soccer, the continued growth of professional leagues of North American men and women and success on a global scale and the USA co-hosting the men’s World Cup in 2026. When the USA becomes the global destination for soccer in 2026, Soccer.com will be ready to wear all our players and fans.”
“We know the feeling of a young athlete trying on their team’s uniform for the first time, a fan attending a game wearing their team’s shirt, or a player wearing their idol’s underpants,” he said. Brendan Moylan, Co-Founder and COO of Sports Endeavors. “We’re proud to help enable those moments by being the most innovative partner for youth sports teams and a preferred partner for the world’s best sports brands looking to engage with young athletes and fans.”
“Mike, Brendan and the entire team at Sports Endeavors have built a company that is central to the landscape of youth sports in America,” said. Chris Parks, Partner at Seawall Capital. “We are excited to help expand youth sports participation and support the growing enthusiasm of American soccer fans,” added Robin LambPartner at Seawall Capital.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management Private Credit and Huntington Business Credit provided financing for the transaction. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal counsel to Seawall Capital. Jefferies LLC served as financial advisor and Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP served as legal advisors to Sports Endeavors.
About Seawall Capital, LLC
Seawall Capital is a middle market private equity firm focused on investing in companies that have established strong relationships with their end consumers. The firm’s investment strategy focuses on partnering with founder-led businesses that deliver amazing products and services that people love and trust. Seawall Capital’s core investment team has a successful track record of helping founders, management teams and partners achieve their long-term goals and objectives.
Learn more at seawallcap.com
SOURCE Seawall Capital, LLC