Nikhil Bahel: investing where sports connects with the world


Our 'Investor's View' series continues this week with Nikhil Bahel, managing partner at Elysian Park Ventures. Nikhil heads up Elysian’s London base, with the goal of broadening the footprint and horizons of the Los Angeles-based firm.

We were keen to catch up with him to discuss the rapid growth around women’s sports versus men's franchises, and dive into what Europe can learn from the American sports model. The conversation also spanned the hangover of the pandemic and its impact on the sports ecosystem.

“Coming out of the pandemic when no live sports had been played, I think it made everyone sit back and say, ‘is our model working?’ And the ones who came out of it well were the US sports franchises,” says Nihkil. “There is a precedent where the US teams and leagues have got the model right from a commercialisation, monetisation and professionalisation perspective. I think there’s been an acceleration of the European leagues and federations across sports looking at the US sports model and asking, ‘how do we replicate that?’”

Looking ahead, we also discuss where Elysian is scoping its next opportunities. The surprising answer? Don’t ignore what's going on in the Web 2.0 space.

Elysian Park is the private investment arm of the LA Dodgers Ownership Group and counts more than 50 companies within its portfolio, including Sports Loft member Greenfly, football publisher Copa90, personal fitness app Freeletics and betting platform DraftKings.

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