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Former NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning recruited into private equity

January 10, 2022, 4:27 PM UTC

Private equity firm Brand Velocity Partners has hired none other than Eli Manning as its new partner.

Yes, that Eli Manning. The two-time Super Bowl champion has proved himself to be a “savvy investor” and a “brand-builder” since leaving the New York Giants in 2019, BVP said in a statement this morning. Manning will be involved in all aspects of the private equity firm, including sourcing new investments.

Since retiring from his quarterback career, Manning has become rather active in the private markets—though, to be sure, he had already been investing in ventures prior. 

You may remember that several members of the Manning family backed BBQGuys, a grill e-commerce company, which was one of three different barbecue companies to announce plans to go public within the same month this past summer. (BBQGuys and SPAC Velocity Acquisition ultimately agreed to part ways in early November due to supply chain issues). Manning has also invested in nutrition research startup Zoe, teen banking app Step, and sleep-tracking device Whoop. He worked with his brother, Peyton, to launch a bourbon brand under the name Sweetens Cove. 

BBQGuys was Manning’s first stint with BVP, which had helped launch the retailer’s national advertising campaign—and largely with private equity. “I went through a Private Equity 101,” Manning told Bloomberg of sitting in on business meetings for about a year. “As I get more familiar, I’ll be able to have more intel and be more helpful with some of the deals that we’re deciding on.”

It’s not the first time a private equity or venture capital group has brought an athlete into the fold—although pro players appear more likely to start their own firms. Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, for instance, has Thirty5 Ventures, which invested in Robinhood. 

Hold up, startups: If unicorns were under the impression they would be prancing around in open fields for a while, it’s time to rethink that. The SEC is reportedly planning to require more transparency from the private market, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. Read: more routine financial and operational disclosures. The regulator is also weighing whether it should further restrict the qualifications for investors to invest in private companies. This could have big implications on the private markets, with more and more companies opting to stay private for longer these days. Startups have historically been able to operate largely behind closed doors until a public debut. 

See you tomorrow,

Jessica Mathews
Twitter: @jessicakmathews


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