Sportfive was formed in 2001 when the European Commission unconditionally approved the merger between the sports rights activities of Jean-Claude Darmon, Sport+, a subsidiary of Canal+ Group, and RTL Group’s sports rights division, UFA Sports.
In 2004 the private equity firm Advent International finalised its acquisition of Sportfive S.A., and in November 2006 sold it to the French media giant Lagardère for an estimated €865 million.
In 2015, Sportfive was integrated into Lagardère Sports and Entertainment, as Lagardère Sports S.A.S. Sportfive Group business in Germany, Sportfive GmbH, became Lagardère Sports Germany GmbH, and UK business became Lagardère Sports UK.
In May 2020, the agency was rebranded back to Sportfive following its takeover by H.I.G. Europe, an arm of the international private equity and asset management firm H.I.G. Capital. The revived name and new corporate identity was unveiled this morning and is effective immediately across all regional operations and for most subsidiary companies. H.I.G. acquired a 75.1% stake in the business in April 2020, and the remaining shares in July 2021.
The rebrand follows the restructuring of the global leadership team at the agency. The four-person executive committee includes chief executive Stefan Felsing, the experienced sports marketing executive who has returned to the agency, chief operating officer Philipp Hasenbein, the long-time head of Lagardère Sports Germany, plus Robert Müller von Vultejus, another Lagardère Sports veteran who takes up the newly-created position of chief growth officer.