GF Sports & Entertainment:

Building new and established sports,

media and entertainment brands.

ABOUT

We are GF Sports & Entertainment. Elevating Experiences.

GF Sports & Entertainment is a live events and sports media entertainment company created in July 2015 by New York-based private equity firm GF Capital.

We are defined by our passion for what we do and get deeply immersed in everything we are involved in. We are producers of memorable events and riveting competitions, originators of unique concepts and global content, but above all, we are creators of vital and enduring franchises. Seeing opportunities that others may overlook, we invest our talents, energies and resources in creating lasting memories for guests, unique opportunities for sponsors and superior returns for investors.

To learn more about GF Capital and the company’s current portfolio, visit www.GFCap.com

APPROACH

GF Sports & Entertainment acquires or invests in established sports, media and entertainment properties that are poised to scale. We provide long-term, flexible capital that maximizes our ability to build and grow lasting properties and brands that compound value over time. GF Sports & Entertainment also incubates new and emerging sport concepts utilizing its global expertise and network to help develop niche sports.

Our team has nearly three decades of experience in the media, live events and sports industries. We utilize our established network of operators, partners and key stakeholders in sports, media and live events to find unique and effective ways to elevate and expand businesses.

Target Industries:

  • Sports, Leisure & Hospitality
  • Media & Entertainment

Investment Criteria:

  • Platforms with Scalable Enterprise Value
  • Strong Competitive Position
  • Significant Opportunity for Growth
  • Area of GF Sports & Entertainment Expertise

Experience:

GF Capital formed Repucom in 2010, powered by an initial investment and merger of two leading companies in the space. Over the next six years Repucom became the global leader in sports sponsorship measurement. GF Capital further consolidated the market following the initial investment to expand into new markets and products, recruited a top-tier management team and developed a big data platform to serve clients in all aspects of their businesses, including sports, entertainment, government/tourism and branded content. GF Capital sold Repucom to The Nielsen Company in 2016. 

GF Capital partnered with two of the existing three founders of Blue Man Group in 2010 to help grow the entertainment brand. Leveraging GF Capital’s vast operational, marketing and sales expertise, together they launched highly successful North American and World tours, developed two non-Blue Man Group character driven properties, and developed innovative marketing campaigns capitalizing on Blue Man Group IP. GF Capital sold its stake in Blue Man Group to Cirque du Soleil in 2017.

LEADERSHIP

Board of Directors

Gary Fuhrman

Board Member

Erik Baker

Board Member

Hank Ratner

Board Member

Neil Shapiro

Board Member

Shawn Tilger

President and
Board Member

Gary Fuhrman

Erik Baker

Hank Ratner

Neil Shapiro

Shawn Tilger

Mr. Fuhrman has a long and distinguished track record of investing in middle market branded consumer product and media companies. Prior to founding GF Capital in 2001, Mr. Fuhrman shared oversight of Corporate Finance and Asset management at Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, Inc. (“A&SB”), working with leading multi-national companies. Mr. Fuhrman is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Fuhrman is active with a number of charitable including the Garden of Dreams Foundation where he is an active member of the board. Mr. Fuhrman also served as a Dwight School Governor from 2006-10 before becoming a Dwight School Foundation Trustee in 2010.
 
Mr. Fuhrman is a board member of Jonathan Adler, Blue Man Group, Oscar de la Renta, The Collective and GF Sports Holdings.

Mr. Baker is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of GF Capital, and a member of the Private Equity Investment Committee, where he concentrates on private equity investments in the media and branded consumer product sectors. Mr. Baker is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Jonathan Adler, Whalerock Industries and GF Sports & Entertainment, and was formerly a board member of Airborne, Repucom, Trade Service, Blue Man Group and Melodeo.

Prior to co-founding GF Capital, Mr. Baker served as a Senior Vice President of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder (“A&SB”) with Messrs. Fuhrman and Shapiro, where he worked in the Corporate Finance department as well as managing a number of A&SB corporate development activities. Prior to A&SB, Mr. Baker was an Analyst with Gleacher & Co., an M&A advisory boutique. Mr. Baker has been a featured speaker at several private equity conferences.

Mr. Baker graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at Penn.

 

Mr. Ratner has more than three decades of experience holding top executive positions at leading sports, entertainment, media and technology companies. He currently serves as CEO of investment firm and strategic consulting practice Ratner Ventures, which has ownership interests in a broad portfolio of early stage and established global businesses. Mr. Ratner is on the Board of Directors of MSG Networks (NYSE: MSGN), Engine Media (TSX-V:GAME), EEM World and GF Sports & Entertainment.

Mr. Ratner spent nearly 30 years at Cablevision Systems Corporation (Cablevision) and its affiliated companies until the sale of Cablevision to Altice in 2016. During that time, Mr. Ratner served as Vice Chairman of Cablevision, President and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) and Chief Operating Officer of AMC Networks (formerly Rainbow Media) where he helped lead each company through unprecedented periods of dynamic and enduring growth. From 2016 to 2018, Mr. Ratner served as President and CEO of Independent Sports & Entertainment, overseeing its transition from Relatively Sports into an integrated sports, media, entertainment and management company representing more than 300 NBA, NFL and MLB athletes. Mr. Ratner began his career as a corporate lawyer with the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.

Mr. Ratner was the founder of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, the nonprofit that works closely with all areas of MSG and MSG Networks to positively impact the lives of children facing obstacles. He was Chairman from the Foundation’s inception in 2006 until 2014 and remains a Board Member.

 

Mr. Shapiro has extensive experience investing in and working with consumer products companies to grow and develop global brands. Prior to co-founding GF Capital, Mr. Shapiro was a Vice President at A&SB with Messrs. Fuhrman and Baker, focusing on corporate finance for multinational and domestic companies. Mr. Shapiro is a CPA, and was an auditor at KPMG Peat Marwick prior to joining A&SB. Mr. Shapiro holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Business and is an emeritus member of The Wisconsin Business Alumni Board of the Wisconsin School of Business.

Mr. Shapiro is a board member / manager of Bite Tech, EEM World, Jonathan Adler, Mansur Gavriel, Mark Cross and Oscar de la Renta (observation rights).

 

Mr. Tilger is a seasoned sports and entertainment executive with more than 30 years of experience leading professional sports franchises, entertainment properties and venues. Since July 2020, he has served as President of GF Sports & Entertainment. Previously, he worked for Comcast Spectacor as Chief Operating Officer and Alternate Governor for the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) and Chief Operating Officer and Governor for the Philadelphia Wings (NLL). In these roles, he was responsible for driving the strategic vision and sustained growth of the teams, overseeing both teams’ business operations, corporate partnerships, and revenue growth initiatives. Earlier, during his more than 20-year tenure at Comcast Spectacor, he served as Vice President of Marketing for the company, managing marketing, public relations, and sales for family events and concerts at the Wells Fargo Center and the Spectrum.

Mr. Tilger received an M.A. in Sports Management from Springfield College and a B.A. in Government and Law from Lafayette College. He was named to SportsBusiness Journal’s 2010 “Forty Under 40” list and while with the Flyers was recognized with numerous NHL and national media awards for sales, advertising and marketing achievements.

 

Gary Fuhrman

Board Member

Gary Furman

Mr. Fuhrman has a long and distinguished track record of investing in middle market branded consumer product and media companies. Prior to founding GF Capital in 2001, Mr. Fuhrman shared oversight of Corporate Finance and Asset management at Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, Inc. (“A&SB”), working with leading multi-national companies. Mr. Fuhrman is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Fuhrman is active with a number of charitable including the Garden of Dreams Foundation where he is an active member of the board. Mr. Fuhrman also served as a Dwight School Governor from 2006-10 before becoming a Dwight School Foundation Trustee in 2010.
 
Mr. Fuhrman is a board member of Jonathan Adler, Blue Man Group, Oscar de la Renta, The Collective and GF Sports Holdings.

Erik Baker

Board Member

Erik Baker

Mr. Baker is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of GF Capital, and a member of the Private Equity Investment Committee, where he concentrates on private equity investments in the media and branded consumer product sectors. Mr. Baker is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Jonathan Adler, Whalerock Industries and GF Sports & Entertainment, and was formerly a board member of Airborne, Repucom, Trade Service, Blue Man Group and Melodeo.

Prior to co-founding GF Capital, Mr. Baker served as a Senior Vice President of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder (“A&SB”) with Messrs. Fuhrman and Shapiro, where he worked in the Corporate Finance department as well as managing a number of A&SB corporate development activities. Prior to A&SB, Mr. Baker was an Analyst with Gleacher & Co., an M&A advisory boutique. Mr. Baker has been a featured speaker at several private equity conferences.

Mr. Baker graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at Penn.

 

Hank Ratner

Board Member

Hank Ratner

Mr. Ratner has more than three decades of experience holding top executive positions at leading sports, entertainment, media and technology companies. He currently serves as CEO of investment firm and strategic consulting practice Ratner Ventures, which has ownership interests in a broad portfolio of early stage and established global businesses. Mr. Ratner is on the Board of Directors of MSG Networks (NYSE: MSGN), Engine Media (TSX-V:GAME), EEM World and GF Sports & Entertainment.

Mr. Ratner spent nearly 30 years at Cablevision Systems Corporation (Cablevision) and its affiliated companies until the sale of Cablevision to Altice in 2016. During that time, Mr. Ratner served as Vice Chairman of Cablevision, President and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) and Chief Operating Officer of AMC Networks (formerly Rainbow Media) where he helped lead each company through unprecedented periods of dynamic and enduring growth. From 2016 to 2018, Mr. Ratner served as President and CEO of Independent Sports & Entertainment, overseeing its transition from Relatively Sports into an integrated sports, media, entertainment and management company representing more than 300 NBA, NFL and MLB athletes. Mr. Ratner began his career as a corporate lawyer with the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.

Mr. Ratner was the founder of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, the nonprofit that works closely with all areas of MSG and MSG Networks to positively impact the lives of children facing obstacles. He was Chairman from the Foundation’s inception in 2006 until 2014 and remains a Board Member.

 

Neil Shapiro

Board Member

Neil Shapiro

Mr. Shapiro has extensive experience investing in and working with consumer products companies to grow and develop global brands. Prior to co-founding GF Capital, Mr. Shapiro was a Vice President at A&SB with Messrs. Fuhrman and Baker, focusing on corporate finance for multinational and domestic companies. Mr. Shapiro is a CPA, and was an auditor at KPMG Peat Marwick prior to joining A&SB. Mr. Shapiro holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Business and is an emeritus member of The Wisconsin Business Alumni Board of the Wisconsin School of Business.

Mr. Shapiro is a board member / manager of Bite Tech, EEM World, Jonathan Adler, Mansur Gavriel, Mark Cross and Oscar de la Renta (observation rights).

 

Shawn Tilger

President and
Board Member

Shawn Tilger

Mr. Tilger is a seasoned sports and entertainment executive with more than 30 years of experience leading professional sports franchises, entertainment properties and venues. Since July 2020, he has served as President of GF Sports & Entertainment. Previously, he worked for Comcast Spectacor as Chief Operating Officer and Alternate Governor for the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) and Chief Operating Officer and Governor for the Philadelphia Wings (NLL). In these roles, he was responsible for driving the strategic vision and sustained growth of the teams, overseeing both teams’ business operations, corporate partnerships, and revenue growth initiatives. Earlier, during his more than 20-year tenure at Comcast Spectacor, he served as Vice President of Marketing for the company, managing marketing, public relations, and sales for family events and concerts at the Wells Fargo Center and the Spectrum.

Mr. Tilger received an M.A. in Sports Management from Springfield College and a B.A. in Government and Law from Lafayette College. He was named to SportsBusiness Journal’s 2010 “Forty Under 40” list and while with the Flyers was recognized with numerous NHL and national media awards for sales, advertising and marketing achievements.

 

Management 

Rich Lisk

Executive Vice President

Peter Lebedevs

Tournament Director,
New York Open

Eddie Gonzalez

Tournament Director &
Chief Development Officer,
Truist Atlanta Open

Tyler Brenneman

Associate, GF Capital
Board Member,
Wolf Pack Ninjas

PROPERTIES

NEWS

Sport Business: GF Capital rebrands, hires veteran operator Tilger

New York-based private equity firm GF Capital, owners of two Association of Tennis Professionals events and the National Lacrosse League’s New York Riptide, have rebranded as GF Sports & Entertainment and hired veteran sports industry executive Shawn Tilger as president. Tilger, who was previously executive vice president and chief operating officer of the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers from 2003-19, had been an adviser to GF Capital for more than a year.

VenuesNow: GF Sports & Entertainment Picks Tilger

Veteran sports executive Shawn Tilger has been appointed the first president of the newly renamed GF Sports & Entertainment, as equity firm GF Capital expands its scope of business in live entertainment. Tilger has equity in GF Sports & Entertainment and will serve on the firm’s board of directors. He most recently served as senior adviser to GF Sports, as the firm was formerly known.

NEW YORK RIPTIDE SELECT EIGHT PLAYERS IN THE NLL DRAFT

Uniondale, NY (September 17, 2020) – After selecting Jeff Teat from Cornell University with the No. 1 overall pick in the NLL Entry Draft on Thursday night, the New York Riptide made four selections in the second round, one in the fourth and two in the sixth.   With the 17th overall pick, the team […]

NEW YORK RIPTIDE SELECT CORNELL’S JEFF TEAT WITH FIRST OVER PICK IN 2020 NLL DRAFT

Uniondale, NY (September 17, 2020) – With the first overall selection in the 2020 National Lacrosse League Draft on Thursday evening, the New York Riptide picked forward Jeff Teat from Cornell University and the Brampton Excelsiors. With the selection, Teat becomes the first player in Big Red history to be selected No. 1 overall in […]

NLL Draft Prospects Roundup

We’re ONE WEEK out from the NLL Draft so let’s take a look at some prospects that should be on team’s Draft Boards that night.   Click on each name below to get details about them and make sure to tune into B/R Live on September 17th to watch live!          

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CONTACT

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Uniondale, New York 11553

info@gfsportsholdings.com