Private Investment Firms Form Partnership to Exploit College Sports Transformation


The creation of Collegiate Athletic Solutions by RedBird Capital and Weatherford Capital comes at a pivotal moment for college sports, with impending changes that could have lasting financial effects.

With the NCAA and its member schools set to vote on a proposed $2.77 billion settlement of an antitrust lawsuit, athletic departments may face tighter budgets and financial challenges in the years ahead.

Collegiate Athletic Solutions (CAS) aims to provide funding and guidance to athletic departments in exchange for a share of future revenue. This platform recognizes the need for near-term capital and operational expertise to pass the evolving landscape of collegiate athletics.

CAS Initiative: Supporting Athletic Departments for Future Revenue Share (NACAA)

Gerry Cardinale, founder and managing partner of RedBird Capital, highlighted the need to bridge the gap between premium intellectual property and revenue streams, similar to shifts seen in media distribution models and collective bargaining rights.

CAS aims to address this need by assisting athletic departments with strategies to improve competitive positioning while providing necessary capital.

Weatherford Capital, led by brothers Will, Sam, and Drew Weatherford, brings a unique perspective to CAS. Drew Weatherford, a former football player at Florida State University and a member of the school’s board of trustees, understands the challenges facing athletic departments firsthand.

The Weatherford brothers emphasize the importance of strategic investment in athletic departments, particularly despite conference realignment, evolving media rights deals, and the introduction of name, image, and likeness (NIL) revenue opportunities.

CAS seeks to offer athletic departments a comprehensive capital solution to adapt and thrive in a changing collegiate sports landscape. As universities sail through these challenges, strategic investments in athletic programs could play a crucial role in maintaining competitiveness and financial sustainability.