20VC: Boston Celtics’ Steve Pagliuca on The Future of Sports Team Ownership; What Happened with the Chelsea Acquisition | Why More Money is Pouring Into Sport Than Ever & Do These Assets Keep Increasing in Value

Posted on 10th February 2023 by Harry

Steve Pagliuca is a Senior Advisor at Bain Capital, the firm he joined in 1982 and as a Managing Director of Bain Capital, he has helped build the firm into one of the world’s leading investment companies with over $160 billion in assets under management. Steve is also a Managing Partner and Co-Owner of the World Championship Boston Celtics Basketball franchise. Steve is also co-owner and co-chairman of the Serie A professional football club, Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio. If that was not enough, Steve currently, serves on the Board of Directors of Gartner, Coherent, Virgin Voyages, and Deltatre. Huge thanks to Moshe @ Shrug Capital for making the intro.

In Today’s Episode with Steve Pagliuca We Discuss:

1.) From Duffel Bags at Duke to Buying Sports Teams:

  • How Steve went from having a single duffel bag arriving at Duke University to entering the world of private equity with the founding of Bain’s PE funds?
  • Did Steve always know he would be successful? What does Steve think about the importance between luck and timing?
  • How did Steve’s mother impact how he approaches parenting and self-belief with his children?

2.) Buying Sports Teams: Not So Different to Companies:

  • When buying and running a sports team, what is the same, and what is different from buying and running a company?
  • What is Steve’s biggest advice to new owners of sports teams?
  • What are the single biggest mistakes sports team owners make when they buy a team?
  • What happened with the Chelsea bid? Why did Steve lose? How did debt change the deal?

3.) The Future of Sports Ownership:

  • Why does Steve believe we have seen a massive rise in American and private equity buyers of both global sports teams but also European sports teams?
  • How has “new media” changed the inherent value that can be placed on a team? Why does it change the value? Which forms of “new media” are most important?
  • How much further can the value of these sports teams increase?
  • Does this massive increase in the price and assets of certain clubs not lead to a massive inequality in sports? What can be done to prevent this imbalance?

4.) Steve Pagliuca: The Person and Capital Allocator:

  • What is the single best investment advice Steve has ever received?
  • How does Steve think about his relationship to wealth today? How has it changed over time?
  • What does it take to have an amazing marriage and be at the top of your profession?
  • What were 1-2 elements that made Bain able to scale to the proportions of AUM that they have done? What would he have done differently?

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