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Former Georgetown coach John Thompson III invests in the American Cornhole League

John Thompson III, head of the Athlete Development and Engagement Department for Monumental Basketball, posed for a photo on July 22, 2019 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC.

Ned Dishman | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

John Thompson III, a former basketball coach at Georgetown University, is now the owner of a cornhole sports company.

Thompson III and Asland Capital Partners CEO James Simmons III have invested in it American League of Cornhole. The transaction is the first round of ACL funding, but specific terms have not been provided.

In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Thompson III, the son of legendary Georgetown University coach John Thompson, explained the investment in ACLs, adding that the league is positioned to increase revenues this decade because of the I am growing popularity.

“You get a kind of laugh when you think about it,” Thompson III said of investing in cornhole. “But while 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 company has successfully exploited the popular game – which requires participants to throw bags of grain on a platform for points – in a TV sport similar to bowling.

ACL attracted Disney ESPN’s NBCUniversal media deal and signed a multi-year deal with ViacomCBS last December. ESPN said viewers of ACL content will grow 3% annually over 2020 compared to 2020. The most watched ACL broadcast in 2021 was Pro Invitational, which had an average of 468,000 average viewers.

American League of Cornhole

Source: American Cornhole League

ACL was featured in a CNBC 2018 profile, which noted that players could earn up to $ 25,000 in prizes. ACL is in its fifth season and is scheduled to hold a $ 250,000 prize pool on Saturday. In the 2018 article, ACL founder Stacey Moore set out a $ 1 million prize in the future. Thompson III praised Moore for “growing sport and raising awareness,” adding ACL has “potential ways to grow.”

The league also has sponsorships with companies, including sports betting company DraftKings.

“Is it a risk? Absolutely,” Thompson III said. “But all investments are a risk. I feel confident for the management team we are putting together and the team already in place.”

A return to the corner?

Thompson III has labeled himself a “calculated investor” when discussing his investment strategy. He used New York-based investment firm Inner Circle Sports to consult with the ACL deal and see the company’s e-commerce offering as an opportunity.

ACL makes revenue from cornhole goods, products and clothing. In a statement announcing the transaction, Moore said the new capital and business relationships “will help take our growth to the next level as we continue to evolve as a sport and professional organization.”

Thompson III coached the Hoyas men’s basketball program before leaving in 2017, compiling a 346-193 career record, including four years at Princeton University. Thompson III is currently a director of Monumental and Entertainment Sports, which owns the Washington Wizards franchise of the National Basketball Association.

Asked if he would like to return to coaching, Thompson III did not rule out the possibility but added that he enjoys the role of the office.

“The business aspect of running an organization is very similar to running and managing a team, even very different,” said Thompson III, after factoring the name, image and likeness, which allows college athletes to earn money.

Rules that prevent athletes from profiting they were lifted last July, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Already the football players of the top programs have accepted the deal more than $ 1 million. Thompson III said the NCAA’s adoption of NIL “was the good thing” but warned of “positive and negative repercussions.”

Said Thompson III: “Intercollegiate sports change significantly when this is over. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing; it’s just a different world now. That accompanied by the transfer rule, college coaching is a very different job.”

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.


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