City Football Group invests in football related businesses around the world, connected by the common aim to increase participation and engagement with football.
In January 2019, City Football Group was announced as the anchor investor in Sapphire Sport, a US-based sport venture capital fund which, in addition to CFG, comprises owners and investors from across major US sports leagues; NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS as well as from related industries.
City Football Group Chief Executive Officer Ferran Soriano said, "Challenging the conventional approach is at the heart of our ethos at City Football Group. Investing in Sapphire Sport, a first-of-its-kind fund, is a natural extension of our original global model, which pairs teams in six countries and five continents with football related businesses, which help drive our growth and success."
GOALS SOCCER CENTRES
City Football Group and Goals Soccer Centres announced a joint venture in July 2017. Goals are one of the largest and most popular operators of dedicated 5-a-side pitches in the United States. The partnership will see the creation of recreational soccer facilities in the US and Canada, with three new facilities having been added so far - Pomona (2017), Rancho Cucamonga (2018) and Covina (2018).
City Football Group and Goals Soccer Centres are focused on supporting and helping grow its local communities. Football is a global game that appeals to all demographics bringing them together in a positive and healthy environment. With the aim of encouraging as many people as possible to play the beautiful game, Goals offers family-oriented programs and events to thousands of members.
Esports is a rapidly growing industry, with 200m people worldwide describing themselves as esports enthusiasts. With an online population of 4bn globally, the popularity of esports is set to continue on its accelerated growth path for many years to come.
In July 2016, City Football Group announced its first investment in competitive FIFA with the signing of a player for Manchester City, becoming only the second Premier League Club to sign an esports player. Today, Manchester City is represented by Shaun ‘Shellzz’ Springette on the PS4 and Xbox talent Ryan Pessoa. Manchester City Esports extended its reach into China in June 2018, with the establishment of a three-man team competing in FIFA Online, and this was expanded to form a team in South Korea in November 2019.
New York City marked an MLS first with the signing of Chris ‘didychrislito’ Holly in April 2017. Chris represents New York City in the eMLS and was the inaugural winner of the eChampions League in May 2019. In August 2018 Melbourne City signed its first player, also the first in the Hyundai A-League, in Marcus Gomes, whilst Girona are represented by two FIFA pros. The clubs have hosted a number of esports tournaments for fans, and continue to work with their esports players to create and distribute content, whilst supporting the players’ participation in domestic and international tournaments.