About a month after stepping down as chairman of Sportradar, Tony Aquila said the move wasn’t a reflection of the company, but rather because his other investments needed more of his attention. “We help as we’re needed, and then we move on,” Aquila said in a phone call.
Aquila left the sports data unicorn in August after 19 months as Global Chairman. Aquila is an entrepreneur and investor, who runs at least $190 million in assets through his solely owned AFV Management.
“I’m still very much invested in Sportradar—big believer. It was a good time to move onto Canoo, which needs more help now,” the executive added. Canoo, on whose board Aquila sits, is an electric vehicle startup that is going public by a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Sportico first reported that Sportradar too is exploring going public, also possibly by SPAC.
When asked about market chatter that Sportradar has turned down an offer from at least one SPAC to go public because of inferior valuation, Aquila declined to answer. “The company is solid as a rock and a preferred asset for any capitalization that could occur in the capital markets,” he said, while adding, “There isn’t a company I’m invested in that isn’t getting approached by SPACs.”
SPACs are a very popular way to go public this year, with at least 20 sports-related SPACs coming to market in the past three months alone. Sportradar would be a prize catch for any potential winner. The Switzerland-based company was founded in 2000 and has attracted a slate of high-profile private investors, including Mark Cuban, Michael Jordan and Ted Leonsis. It has deals to provide data to fantasy sports sites and bookmakers for the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL.
“It is one of my favorite companies. I love the team,” said Aquila. “We’re very, very long on Sportradar. It’s an amazing business.”