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JohnWallStreet Raises Strategic Capital to Build Out Content, Events, and Intelligence Biz

sports. media. finance.

JohnWallStreet Raises Strategic Capital to Build Out Content, Events, and Intelligence Biz

The $600bn global sports business is undergoing rapid change. The ongoing transition to digital media, emergence of new properties, and rise of women’s sports have all helped to reshape the landscape. 

And the amount of capital flowing into the industry is greater than ever too, in part because of the recent influx of private equity. 

But leaders lack the intelligence necessary to navigate the transformation effectively. There simply aren’t enough well-researched inputs to aid the decision-making process. 

The dearth of publicly traded companies in sports means a relative lack of Wall Street analyst coverage, and the ‘established’ sports business-focused entities are focused on ‘breaking’ commoditized news and/or fast following those who do rather than delivering valuable insights, analysis, context, and/or perspective.

JohnWallStreet has built its influence and following over the last (almost) seven years by publishing a regular newsletter that makes reader smarter. Sports and media decision makers don't just want to know what happened, they want to know why it happened and what it means; and what’s coming next. 

We are excited to announce we’ll be able to advance our vision and build a high-powered publishing, events, research, and consulting business on top of the existing newsletter platform following the close of an oversubscribed investment round. The JohnWallStreet cap table now includes a multitude of strategic investors, including long-time reader David Blitzer (via Bolt Ventures).

Roger Ehrenberg’s Eberg Capital, the Nielsen-rated FAST channel, SportsGrid, MLR Holdings CEO Bill Rock, WWE president Nick Khan, former Madison Square Garden president and CEO Hank Ratner, Eventellect co-founder Patrick Ryan, Speedway Motorsports chief operating officer Mike Burch, former Learfield chief revenue officer John Brody, former ESPN executive vice president and general manager of digital and print media John Kosner, former NFL vice president of digital media business development Blake Stuchin, and Thuzio CEO and co-founder Jared Augustine all participated in the round alongside the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment co-managing partner and co-founder.

HBSE owns the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Newark’s Prudential Center. Blitzer, individually, is an owner in Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals, a co-owner in Jupiter Links Golf Club and a minority owner in the Cleveland Guardians too.

JohnWallStreet has also secured an ongoing commitment from its first investor, Playfly Sports, for support services.

The capital will largely be used to support a talent-led operation. It’ll also go to funding publishing infrastructure and research software/technology.

JohnWallStreet will continue to publish his signature column. We plan to add additional newsletters and voices to the platform in the months and years ahead.

But that does not mean hiring a newsroom of journalists (and editors) and assigning them to specific beats. Few are capable of providing the intelligence decisions makers require. 

Instead, we’ll lean on established thought-leaders who maintain a specific expertise within a select sports or media vertical and are willing to share their ideas and learnings with the broader industry. Block Six Analytics founder Adam Grossman will continue to pen his ‘Revenue Over Replacement’ column under the JohnWallStreet banner. We’ll also be introducing a new generative AI focused newsletter from former Washington Commanders chief strategy officer Shripal Shah.

Seasoned B2B media publisher Randall Friedman has been tabbed to run the business side of JohnWallStreet. Former Penske Media Corp portfolio sales and marketing VP Jacie Brandes will spearhead publishing and event-related revenue generation.

Don’t worry, the newsletter will remain free to subscribers. 

JohnWallStreet will also continue hosting its biannual Sports & Media Huddle series. The invite-only gatherings bring together the industry’s most influential people for smart conversation and VIP networking.

Khan, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark, and RedBird Capital Partners managing director Kevin LaForce will be sitting down with JWS for extended firesides at the Fall ’24 event.  

We do, however, have plans to build out the events calendar in the months ahead. The need for idea sharing has grown with the industry undergoing rapid change, but the number of opportunities for face-to-face engagement with peers has dwindled in a post-COVID world.

Expect to see the brand hosting upscale functions around marquee sporting events, specific roles within the industry, and hot button topics.  There will also be events for the startup/investment community, happy hours designed to build community, and an exclusive retreat for the select few at the top of the sports and media pyramid.

JohnWallStreet will also have an institutional-level research and information services arm moving forward. Led by former MLS monitoring, reporting, and analysis executive Ryan Dastrup, PhD, this new division will produce thematic and market research, and offer rights owners and their partners a host of information services offerings tied to media monitoring, sponsorship satisfaction, and first party data insights (think: custom attitude and behavioral studies).

Our first thematic explores how and why college sports has become a viable asset for private equity investors, where opportunities for private equity investment lie within college athletics, the key risks, considerations, and barriers to entry for private equity investors, and how recent legal settlements will impact private equity investment in collegiate athletics. It can be bought here now.

We will hold a live event on the subject of PE in college sports in the Q4. Purchase of the report comes with one complimentary ticket to the otherwise invite-only affair. 

Consulting and advisory, and the introduction of a ‘membership’ program that gives supporters access to select events, other members of the community, and JohnWallStreet (the person) are part of the roadmap too.

We don’t profess to have all the answers. Nobody does. 

But with a focus on smart analysis, deep insights, and idea sharing we expect to help sports and media stakeholders get to them.

Reach out at [email protected] to discuss how we can help your organization.

Thank you for reading and supporting JWS.



Rutgers Athletics and Playfly Aspire partnered in 2011 to drive revenue through athletic ticket sales and donation stewardship. Now, 13 years, $17M, and 5 renewals later, they continue to set records and innovate.

Playfly Aspire is always adding loyal partners that want to win big together. Will you be next?

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