Ex-Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III invests in American Cornhole League


John Thompson III, head of the athlete growth and engagement division for Monumental Basketball, poses for a portrait on July 22, 2019 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC.

Ned Dishman | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

Former Georgetown University males’s basketball coach John Thompson III is now an proprietor of a cornhole sports activities firm.

Thompson and Asland Capital Partners CEO James Simmons III invested in the American Cornhole League. The transaction is ACL’s first funding spherical, however particular phrases weren’t offered.

In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Thompson, son of legendary Georgetown University coach John Thompson Jr., defined the funding in ACL, including the league is positioned to extend income over this decade attributable to its growing popularity.

“You kind of chuckle when you think about it,” Thompson mentioned of investing in cornhole. “But as you dive in and do the research, cornhole is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.”

ACL launched in 2016 in South Carolina. The firm has efficiently leveraged the favored recreation — which requires individuals to toss baggage of corn kernels onto a platform for factors — right into a TV sport much like bowling.

ACL has media agreements with NBCUniversal and Disney-owned ESPN and signed a multiyear take care of ViacomCBS in December. ESPN mentioned viewership of ACL content material is up 3% yr over yr in contrast with 2020. ACL’s most-viewed airing in 2021 was the Pro Invitational, which averaged 468,000 viewers.

American Cornhole League

Source: American Cornhole League

ACL was featured in a 2018 CNBC profile, which famous gamers might earn as much as $25,000 in prize cash. ACL is in its fifth season and scheduled to carry a $250,000 prize pool competitors Saturday. In the 2018 article, ACL founder Stacey Moore focused a $1 million prize pool in the long run.

Thompson praised Moore for “growing the sport and increasing awareness,” including ACL has “potential avenues of growth.”

The league additionally has sponsorships with firms, together with sports activities betting firm DraftKings.

“Is it a risk? Absolutely,” mentioned Thompson. “But all investments are a risk. I feel strongly about the management team that we’re putting together and the team already in place.”

Thompson labeled himself a “calculated investor” when discussing his funding technique. He used New York-based funding agency Inner Circle Sports to advise him on the ACL settlement and sees the corporate’s e-commerce choices as a possibility, too. ACL makes income from cornhole merchandise, merchandise and attire.

In an announcement saying the transaction, Moore mentioned the brand new capital and enterprise relationships would “help take our growth to the next level as we continue to evolve as a professional sport and organization.”

A return to the sidelines?

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