Analysis

Sports stars can't resist the SPAC boom

, Wall street journal

A list compiled by The Wall Street Journal in March catalogs a growing roster of star athletes and sports executives who count themselves as investors or advisers in special-purpose acquisition companies. They include Serena Williams, Stephen Curry, Naomi Osaka, Tony Hawk and Colin Kaepernick. As of last month, there were 61 sports-related SPACs formed this year alone compared with just five for the entirety of 2019, according to the sports business publication Sportico.

Taking the former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal as an example, Mr. O’Neal, whose first big investment was highly successful—a stake in Google before it went public—currently serves as a strategic adviser for a SPAC that in February announced it would merge with the fitness and nutrition business Beachbody Co. in a deal that values the combined company at $3 billion. Mr. Curry, a basketball superstar, is involved with Dune Acquisition Corp. , a SPAC that is focused on finding a software target. Meanwhile, Ms. Williams, the tennis great, sits on the board of Jaws Spitfire Acquisition Corp. , a SPAC that said in March it would merge with a 3-D printing technology company that supplies hardware and software to industrial clients.

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