NEW YORK – November 29, 2023 – Team US SailGP has been purchased by technology investor, Uber founding engineer Ryan McKellen, Margaret McKellen, and two-time world champion sailor Mike Buckley. They are joined by a diverse group of investors representing the sports, technology, entertainment and media sectors. The Avenue Sports Fund, led by Marc Lasry, CEO of Avenue Capital Group, is the lead investor in what will be the largest team acquisition in SailGP history. Other members of the investment group include actress and producer Issa Rae; World heavyweight champion boxer Deontay Wilder; Global DJ and producer Griffin. and NFL stars DeAndre Hopkins, Malik Jackson, Roquan Smith and Kayvon Thibodeau. Other members include University of Alabama football star Dallas Turner; former American soccer player Jozy Altidore; University of Michigan basketball legend Caitlin Flaherty-Yates; Asia Grazioli Fenner from Muse Capital; and serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. SailGP is the most exciting boat race on the water. The World Series features high-tech, high-speed 50-foot foiling boats, pitted by the world’s best athletes across 10 national teams and broadcast in over 200 markets (CBS and YouTube in the US). In Season 4 of SailGP, the fast-growing world sailing championship presents 13 live events throughout the year – six of which take place in North America, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – at the most iconic waterfront locations around the world. Under the new structure of the US SailGP Team, Ryan McKellen will serve as president and Mike Buckley as CEO. The team has appointed seven-time world champion sailor Taylor Canfield as the team’s driver. “By bringing this exceptional group together to acquire Team US SailGP, we have reached an important stage in the growth of our sport,” said Ryan McKellen, co-owner and president of US SailGP Team. “As sailors, we love this sport and want to bring it to millions of people; as entrepreneurs, we understand the potential and growth trajectory of SailGP and how the US SailGP team can deliver the future of racing on the water at the highest levels. Our amazing ownership group is a testament to SailGP’s growth and expansion into the mainstream “We believe diversity is a competitive advantage and it has to start at the top,” said Mike Buckley, co-owner and CEO of Team US SailGP. “We have assembled the most diverse ownership group in the history of our sport. Collectively, we have a tremendous amount of work to do both in and out of the water, but I believe I have proven that I will not back down from this important challenge. Avenue Capital Group recently launched the Avenue Sports Fund with the goal of providing capital solutions to a wide range of sports teams, their owners and leagues, as well as investing in sports-related entertainment and media rights, real estate and other adjacent activities. The US SailGP team is the second major team investment by the sports fund. “Avenue Sports Fund’s investment in the US SailGP Team fits perfectly with our strategy to support emerging sports and leagues to capitalize on the globalization of sports and related areas with rapid growth potential,” said Marc Lasry, Chairman of Avenue Capital Group. And CEO. “We are thrilled to join Ryan, Margaret, Mike and the broader investor group as the US SailGP team competes on an exciting global stage.” Team US SailGP partners Red Bull, T-Mobile for Business and Zhik reaffirm their commitment to Team US SailGP, working with the team and the league to satisfy a growing fan base, innovate in technology, sports and lifestyle and deliver outstanding event experiences. US SailGP Team Debut in Dubai, December 9-10 The US SailGP Team (athletes to be announced) will compete in the Emirates Sailing Grand Prix in Dubai presented by P&O Marinas, December 9-10. Dubai is the sixth stop on the global calendar for SailGP Season 4. The Championship returns to North America in the spring of 2024, with events kicking off each month with the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix (May 4-5) and the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix in Halifax (June 1-2). The US SailGP team’s first opportunity to race in front of its American fans will be in New York, on June 22 and 23 at the New York Sailing Grand Prix; Followed by the SailGP Season 4 Finals in San Francisco on July 13-14, 2024.
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