Ballard Spahr Advises Phoenix Rising FC in Adding Advantage Sports Union Ltd. to Ownership Group
Ballard Spahr represented Phoenix Rising FC—a professional soccer franchise—in the sale of an interest in the team to international soccer investment group Advantage Sports Union Ltd. The transaction is expected to strengthen Phoenix Rising FC's bid for Major League Soccer expansion while connecting Asian, European, and North American soccer interests. Phoenix-based Business and Finance Partner Travis J. Leach led Ballard Spahr's transaction team.
Phoenix Rising FC currently plays in the United Soccer League and is the highest-level professional soccer franchise in Arizona history. Established in 2013, it is one of 11 cities applying for Major League Soccer expansion.
Advantage Sports Union is an internationally known sports company focused on soccer. Its chairman, Alex Zheng, is a renowned global entrepreneur who also is a key investor in French Premier Ligue 1 professional soccer team OGC Nice. Mr. Zheng brings his extensive knowledge of hospitality, tourism, international soccer, and business to Phoenix Rising FC as its newest owner and director of the club's governing board.
Mr. Leach focuses on mergers and acquisitions transactions and is a leader of the firm's Sports Practice. In October 2017, he advised Phoenix Rising FC in its successful acquisition of minor league soccer team FC Tucson. He previously represented BBS Capital in the acquisition of Arizona United Soccer Club—as Phoenix Rising FC was known until 2016.
New York-based Business and Finance Associate Chloe J. Steadman also advised Phoenix Rising FC in this transaction.