Experienced Sports & Media Executives Barrios and Wilson Offer Track Record of Value Creation and Operational Expertise
Anthony, an NBA Legend with a Decade of Early-Stage Investing Experience, Shifts Focus from Melo7 Tech Partners to Isos7
Isos Capital Managing Director and Former New York Knicks, NBA, and WWE Executive Brian Flinn Named Partner of Isos7
WESTPORT, Conn., Feb. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Isos Capital Management Founders and Co-CEOs George Barrios and Michelle Wilson today announced a partnership with 10-Time NBA All-Star and entrepreneur Carmelo Anthony to launch Isos7 Sports Investments. The platform will provide growth capital, targeting $50 million to $100 million per investment, to a diversified portfolio of sports leagues, teams, emerging properties, and ancillary businesses in North America, Europe, and pan-Asia. Based on the founders’ track record of driving shareholder value in the public market, Isos7 anticipates having access to approximately $750 million in capital to deploy. Ownership groups and management teams will also benefit from the partners’ history of value creation and operational expertise across sports and media properties to help transform business models and accelerate growth. Isos7, which is 100% founded and led by a diverse management team, will commit 1% of its profits to support underrepresented populations and underserved communities.
“We believe sports assets will continue to benefit from global macro tailwinds and secular industry trends driving significant, predictable, and stable growth,” said Barrios and Wilson. “We are thrilled to partner with Carmelo, a trailblazer for athletes in investing, business development, and philanthropy. We have a shared vision for how a new wave of diverse investors will identify global growth opportunities and impact the marketplace.”
One of the greatest basketball players of all time, Anthony captured an NCAA National Championship as a freshman at Syracuse University, won three Olympic Gold Medals with Team USA, and earned a place on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, commemorating the 75 best players in league history. In doing so, Anthony cemented his basketball legacy and paved the way for his successful business projects and philanthropic endeavors. As a trailblazing athlete-entrepreneur, Anthony, in 2014, along with his partner and media executive Stuart Goldfarb, co-founded Melo7 Tech Partners, an investment vehicle focused on digital media and consumer internet ventures, including investments in companies such as DraftKings, SeatGeek, and Overtime. As a philanthropist, Anthony has demonstrated a dogged commitment to supporting underprivileged communities, and due to his courageous, lifelong fight for racial equality and his work with the Carmelo Anthony Foundation and the Social Change Fund, he became the inaugural recipient of the NBA’s prestigious Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award in 2021.
“I’m excited to build on my experiences as an athlete, entrepreneur, and investor, and move to the next level of league and team ownership opportunities globally,” said Anthony. “Stuart and I will shift our focus from Melo7 Tech Partners, where we had great success together, and partner with the team at Isos7 to leverage our deep relationships across the sports ecosystem and create value for all those involved. Our collective success will in turn further enable us to have a positive impact on underrepresented populations.”
Barrios and Wilson, two proven operators with a long history of working together to create shareholder value, recently led the completion of a $2.6 billion business combination with Bowlero, the world’s largest bowling operator, which recently eclipsed $1 billion in TTM revenue. Previously, they served as Co-Presidents of WWE, leading the global entertainment company through a transformative period of growth that resulted in an increase of nearly $5 billion in shareholder value over a six-year period.
Brian Flinn, a 25-year sports industry veteran who ran the day-to-day operations of key business units at WWE as Chief Marketing Officer and joined Isos Capital Management last year, has been named Partner of Isos7 and will oversee the investment and operations teams. Previously, he served as the NBA’s SVP & Global Head of Marketing after starting his career in communications with the New York Knicks.
“Isos Capital has a clear mandate: invest at the cross section of content, community, and commerce,” said Flinn. “We believe there is no more valuable content than sports, no better community engagement platform than sports, and no stronger business model than sports.”
The Isos7 team also includes industry veterans Rob Pietroforte, who serves as Managing Director, and Stuart Goldfarb, who serves as Senior Strategic Advisor. Pietroforte will manage the investment team and brings 15 years of experience from roles at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, The Raine Group, and most recently Genius Sports, where he served as EVP, M&A and Strategic Initiatives. Goldfarb co-founded Melo7 Tech Partners with Anthony and served as CEO of Bertelsmann Direct NA and bol.com, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Business Development at NBC, and as a member of WWE’s Board of Directors for more than a decade.
About Isos Capital Management
Isos Capital Management (https://isoscap.com) is a boutique, full-stack investment and advisory firm built by operators for operators and is uniquely positioned to identify and execute on global media, entertainment, sports, and technology opportunities.
The firm, founded and led by award-winning and diverse Fortune 500 C-Suite executives, invests in brands that innovate to deliver extraordinary customer experiences at the cross-section of content, community, and commerce; partners with proven management teams to accelerate growth, transform business models, and better meet the needs of consumers; and is committed to initiatives that support underrepresented populations and underserved communities.
About George Barrios
George Barrios founded Isos Capital Management in 2020 after an award-winning corporate career that included serving as Co-President and Board Member of WWE leading the company through transformative change and building a multi-platform media enterprise worth more than $5 billion. He recently oversaw and completed a $2.6 billion business combination with Bowlero Corp. resulting in Bowlero trading on the NYSE.
In 2017, Institutional Investor ranked Barrios among the top 3 CFOs in the Media Industry as part of its All-America Executive team rankings. He has held leadership roles in finance, strategy, and operations at The New York Times, Praxair, Time Warner, and HBO. He received his MBA from the University of Connecticut School of Business, and serves as a Board member of WWE and Make-A-Wish.
About Michelle Wilson
Michelle Wilson founded Isos Capital Management in 2020 and is a leading sports and entertainment C-Suite executive who previously served as Co-President and Board Member of WWE leading the company through transformative change and building a multi-platform media enterprise worth more than $5 billion. She recently oversaw and completed a $2.6 billion business combination with Bowlero Corp. resulting in Bowlero trading on the NYSE.
In 2018, Forbes named Wilson one of the 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports. She also was featured on the Adweek 50 list, which highlights the leading executives in Media, Marketing and Technology, and was named one of Sports Illustrated’s 10 Most Influential Women in Sports. Previously, Wilson served as the Chief Marketing Officer of the United States Tennis Association, oversaw all marketing efforts for the launch of the original XFL, a partnership between WWE and NBC, and held consumer products and brand management positions at the NBA and Nabisco, respectively. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School, and serves as a Board Member of Turtle Beach Corporation, WWE and Make-A-Wish.
About Carmelo Anthony
Ten-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony has led a storied career as ninth on the NBA’s all-time leading scorers list, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, and a member of NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team. However, many of his most significant and proudest accomplishments have occurred off the court, where he has established himself as a boundless philanthropist and social justice advocate as well as a successful businessman.
From the early days of his basketball career, Anthony has been a vocal and active advocate for equality and social justice. In 2005, he founded The Carmelo Anthony Foundation as a vehicle to champion community impact, social reform, and racial equality through a variety of outreach initiatives and donations. Additionally, in 2020, Anthony joined forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul to found the Social Change Fund, a charitable organization dedicated to empowering and investing in Black businesses and Black communities. In 2021, in recognition of his long passionate advocacy, Anthony was awarded the inaugural Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award, dedicated to one NBA player who most upholds the NBA’s values of equality, respect and inclusion through his pursuit of social justice.
In business, Anthony has proven equally impactful as a key figure in the first wave of athlete entrepreneurs, helping lay the foundation for the next generation of athletes turned business moguls. Upon entering the NBA in 2003, Anthony became Jordan Brand’s first signature athlete and has been intimately involved in creating thirteen signature shoes with the label. In 2014, Anthony co-founded Melo7 Tech Partners with media executive Stuart Goldfarb to invest in and develop opportunities in digital media, consumer internet ventures, and emerging platforms. The portfolio includes early-stage investments in companies such as DraftKings, SeatGeek, Overtime, Lyft, and Andela. In 2021, spurred by a passion for inclusive storytelling, Anthony and his longtime business partner and co-founder, Asani Swann, announced Creative 7, a global, multi-platform content company producing purpose-driven projects spanning television, film, audio, and digital. Alongside Swann, Anthony also recently founded global wine brand VII(N) – The Seventh Estate and launched the brand’s first vintage, Oath of Fidelity, which debuted in 2022. Anthony is also a New York Times Bestselling author of his memoir “Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised”, which was released in 2021.
About Brian Flinn
Brian Flinn joined Isos Capital Management as Managing Director in January 2022 and is now Partner of Isos7 overseeing the investment and operations teams. He is an award-winning C-Suite executive with more than 25 years of experience disrupting legacy businesses, building direct-to-consumer offerings, using data and insights to engage consumers, rebuilding brands, and developing break-through promotions across sports and entertainment. Over the course of his career, his work has won Cannes Bronze Lion, David Ogilvy Innovation, and Clio Awards.
Flinn was previously WWE’s Chief Marketing Officer, and during a nine-year tenure was responsible for the company’s global marketing and promotions, WWE Network subscription business, consumer products, special events, consumer insights, creative services, communications, and corporate social responsibility divisions. Before joining WWE, Flinn served as the NBA’s SVP & Head of Global Marketing overseeing brand management, market research, digital and multicultural marketing, broadcast promotion, advertising, and corporate communications during a 12-year span. He started his career in communications with the New York Knicks.
About Rob Pietroforte
Rob Pietroforte joined Isos Capital Management in November 2022 as Managing Director and leads the Isos7 investment team. Prior to Isos Capital, Pietroforte was EVP, M&A and Strategic Initiatives at Genius Sports. He played a key role in building the company’s North American business and was integral in the acquisitions of Second Spectrum, FanHub, and Spirable as well as transformative league deals with the NFL and the Canadian Football League, where he currently sits on the Board.
Previously, Pietroforte was a Vice President at The Raine Group where he helped lead the firm’s sports and gaming efforts and executed a number of transactions including the sale of DC United, the business combination of Accel Entertainment and TPG Pace, and the firm’s investments in the Premier Lacrosse League and Beachbody, where he served on the Boards of both companies. He started his career at JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. Pietroforte has a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University, where he was an All-American baseball player, and an MBA from The Wharton School, where he was a Palmer Scholar.
About Stuart Goldfarb
Stuart U. Goldfarb was Co-founder and Partner of Melo7 Tech Partners, LLC, which he founded with Carmelo Anthony in 2014 to invest in early-stage digital media and consumer internet ventures. The firm has a portfolio of over 40 investments and has been an early investor in many well-known companies, such as DraftKings, SeatGeek, Lyft, Andela, Vivino, and Overtime alongside Andreessen Horowitz and other premier venture capital firms.
From 2001 to 2010, Goldfarb was President and Chief Executive Officer of Bertelsmann Direct NA. Under his leadership, the company grew to be the world’s largest direct marketer of music, DVDs, and books, with household brands such as Columbia House, BMG Music, Doubleday Book Club, Book-of-the-Month-Club, and cdnow.com. Prior to that, Goldfarb was President and Chief Executive Officer of bol.com, Bertelsmann’s premier online retailer of books and music, conducting business in 18 European and Asian countries. Before joining Bertelsmann, he was Executive Vice President, Worldwide Business Development at NBC.
Goldfarb served as a director of WWE from 2011 to 2021; Vitacost.com from 2011 to 2014, when the online retailer of healthy living products was sold to Kroger in a Board led sale; and Atrinsic, Inc., the operator of Kazaa, from 2010 to 2012.
Ed Trissel / Tanner Kaufman / Kate Thompson
Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/isos-capital-co-founders-george-barrios-and-michelle-wilson-partner-with-carmelo-anthony-to-launch-isos7-sports-investments-301743806.html
SOURCE Isos Capital Management