NFL, Providence Equity Complete First Joint Investment

The National Football League and Providence Equity Partners have made their first joint investment.

The NFL and the Rhode Island-based private-equity firm that manages funds with $40 billion in commitments closed their first joint investment in January, said Kevin LaForce, the league’s vice president of corporate development. He didn’t disclose the name of the company in which the investment was made, saying only that it’s closely held.

LaForce also said the league and an existing NFL partner that he wouldn’t name made an investment in May in another closely held company. About $13 million was put into the deals, LaForce said.

The league didn’t disclose either investment. One company focuses on licensed apparel and the other on sponsorship and marketing, LaForce said.

“We’re happy to fly under the radar,” he said.

LaForce confirmed the investments after New England Patriots President Jonathan Kraft said yesterday during the Bloomberg Boston Sports Forum that the league and Providence had made at least one investment. He wasn’t specific.

The league and Providence in March of last year announced their partnership, which was established to invest $300 million in private sports and entertainment-related media and technology companies.

The NFL, the most-watched U.S. sports league, generates about $10 billion in annual revenue. Prior to teaming with Providence, each of the league’s 32 teams committed $1 million to an investment fund.

Providence’s investments in sports- and entertainment-related media companies have included the Yankees Sports & Entertainment Network, MLS Media, World Triathlon Corp. and video website Hulu LLC.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.