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Atlanta Falcons owner creates early-stage sports tech investment fund

AMBSE Ventures bids to strengthen Arthur Blank’s existing sporting portfolio.

AMB Sports and Entertainment (AMBSE), the parent company of the National Football League’s (NFL) Atlanta Falcons, is launching an early-stage investment fund.

AMBSE Ventures will target technology startups in the sports and entertainment sectors, with the goal of strengthening AMBSE’s various properties, which include Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Atlanta United and the US$1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The new subsidiary's verticals include sports performance and fan engagement as well as live event operations and tools for media and sponsors to better engage with supporters. Emerging categories include esports and betting.

AMBSE chief executive Steve Cannon will lead the new division, which is being backed by Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank (pictured above) and will begin operations without any outside partners.

Cannon confirmed to Sports Business Journal (SBJ) that AMBSE Ventures will be flexible in its approach, but would ideally do deals for small, revenue-generating companies. He added there are no geographic preferences for investments and expects several to be made within 12 months.

It sees AMBSE become the latest sporting organisation looking to invest in early-stage tech firms. In 2017, the Green Bay Packers partnered with Microsoft to launch Titletown tech which aims to boost digital innovation and economic growth in the state of Wisconsin.

Since then, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Milwaukee Bucks and Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers joined the Packers to form the Equity League The investment fund, which is a division of Titletown Tech, focuses on improving opportunities for underrepresented entrepreneurs and providing financial support for technology companies whose mission is to drive social change.