Australian Professional Leagues (APL), the entity responsible for the operation, commercialisation and marketing of professional football in Australia, have today announced that Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, has made a significant minority investment in the organisation.
The investment will drive technology enhancements and innovation aimed at improving the fan experience and driving further development of the game in Australia. The transaction values APL at approximately USD$300m / AUD $425M.
Silver Lake’s investment aimed at supporting APL’s sustained, long-term growth strategy for the leagues, with a measured deployment of capital over the coming years. Funds will be used to drive enhancements widely across many aspects of the professional game.
APL’s digital first strategy will continue to evolve with a focus on marketing, product development and strengthening its direct-to-consumer execution.
Funds will also be allocated to support the on-field enhancement of the A-Leagues including increased investment in all competitions with a specific focus on extended growth in the Liberty A-League Women and A-League Youth competitions. Additional investment is planned to be deployed for development of unique community engagement propositions to further connect the game.
Silver Lake Managing Director Stephen Evans will become a Member of the APL Board.
Commenting on the announcement, A-Leagues Chair Paul Lederer said:
“Silver Lake is a world-class leader in technology and media investing and this partnership is a testament to the compelling opportunities for growth and even better, deeper fan engagement that our leagues are cultivating. This valuation recognises the latent potential that has long existed in the professional game in Australia, and the ability of our board and executive team to realise that potential.
“We welcome the opportunity to work closely with Silver Lake to harness the team’s experience, including around new technology adoption and other growth strategies critical to realising the potential of Australian football.”
Silver Lake Managing Director Stephen Evans added:
“The Australian Professional Leagues has a large, growing and passionate fan base across its 13 teams and the organisation has made great strides as it focuses on leveraging technology to strengthen Australian football and enrich the fan experience.
“We are excited to partner with the Board, Danny Townsend, and the entire executive team to help further accelerate APL’s digital transformation and support its continued momentum and ambitious vision for long-term sustainable and inclusive growth.”
The Silver Lake transaction has been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and Football Australia.