Digital football business, Dugout, has revealed details of new investment that will see the company expand its existing operations, as well as partnership plans to enhance its technology offering and support growth in the MENA region.
Dugout has announced an additional £8.275m investment led by US entrepreneurs David and Frank McCourt, alongside a number of other strategic smaller-scale investors. The £8.275m investment reflects the growth of the business and its expanding network of partners across football, business, media, technology and brand advertising.
David McCourt, founder and CEO of Granahan McCourt Capital, the worldwide investors in technology, media and telecommunications, is one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. David is also the founder of ALTV.com, one of the fastest growing free streaming services in the MENA region. His brother Frank, is chairman and CEO of McCourt LP and McCourt Global, and known to sports fans as the owner of Olympique De Marseille and former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dugout has recently announced a number of other strategic partnerships designed to support its business’ objective of expanding its global presence. In December, Dugout launched a partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS) and Dugout is expected to make further announcements in the coming weeks about other territories and partnerships.
The company has also signed deals with tech companies like VEWD, SPOTX Rakuten/Viber and Amazon to reach more users and provide brands advertising on the platform with better engagement, user consumer targeting and detailed analytics.
Dugout was initially available in eight languages; English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese and Bahasa (Indonesian), with Arabic to be added in the coming months.
Dugout represents the first time football clubs have joined forces to create a business – with founding partners including AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Bayern Munich, Juventus, Liverpool FC, Manchester City FC, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid CF, Inter Milan, Roma, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Atletico Madrid and more.
David McCourt, founder and CEO of Granahan McCourt Capital, said: “Dugout represents an excellent opportunity to capitalise on two significant global trends. Firstly, the huge demand for great, original and highly-personalised content. Secondly, the soaring popularity of football in practically every market. Dugout has already done what many thought impossible by bringing the world’s top clubs together in one shared enterprise. Now, we want to use this excellent foundation to grow a truly iconic company that inspires fans and brands the world over.
“Our collaboration with Dugout will also enhance the company’s tech capabilities and enable it to grow its audience in strategically important markets. For example, the partnership between Dugout and ALTV will deliver exclusive access to original content for football fans across the Middle East and North Africa.”
Elliot Richardson, founder and chairman of Dugout, said: “We are delighted to have secured both the Series A funding round and strategic capital investment, led by Frank and David McCourt. Frank and David bring with them decades of commercial success, experience and entrepreneurial zeal – they are fantastic partners as we move into the next phase of our development as a business.
“We’re thrilled with how popular the platform has proven so far with fans, as well as the brands and commercial partners we’ve brought into the fold. This investment keeps that momentum going and partnerships with innovators like ALTV and Alchemy Media both enhance our technology offering and open up key markets like the Middle East and North Africa, where we know our club partners have such huge support.”
Akira Partners acted as financial advisors to Dugout on this transaction.