An Ottawa-based professional services firm is helping entertainment moguls Snoop Dogg and Neko Sparks find Canadian investors for their consortium that’s attempting to buy the Ottawa Senators.
The Andrew Abraham Group, better known as TAAG, said Wednesday it has been hired to “bring Canadian families and hockey alumni participation” to the ownership bid led by Sparks, a Los Angeles-based film producer.
“He’s got big plans for the team, big plans for the city,” TAAG founder and CEO Andrew Abraham told OBJ in an interview. “He’s definitely putting (the local) community first.”
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Abraham said one of his clients introduced him to Sparks earlier this year. The producer stopped by TAAG’s downtown Ottawa office when he was in town to tour the Canadian Tire Centre in late March.
The two businessmen attended a couple of Sens games together that weekend and quickly hit it off, Abraham added.
“It was a natural relationship between the two of us,” he said. “It was quick for me to say yes to working with the group.”
Snoop Dogg made international headlines this week when the legendary rapper and entrepreneur announced on Instagram that he was joining Sparks’s bid.
Ian Mendes of The Athletic, who was the first to report the news, said the group consists of more than a dozen investors, the majority of whom would be people of colour.
Abraham said his firm has been hired to attract local investors to the bid, adding “a percentage of the team” would be owned by Canadian families and former NHLers.
“There is going to be a Canadian component, which is exciting,” he said. “That’s what the community wants to see.”
In a statement Wednesday, Sparks said he wants his ownership group to have a strong local flavour.
“Although having Canadian participation isn’t a requirement by the league, it’s important to me that Senators fans have the ability to stay connected to the future of this great team,” he said.
“I have been working with the team and doing business in Ottawa for the last few years and have come to love the community and feel it’s only right to share the opportunity with the city I have come to love.”
TAAG is currently in talks with a number of potential investors looking to join Sparks’s group, including prominent members of the Ottawa business community, former Senators players and alumni from other NHL clubs, Abraham explained.
In addition to being “strategic investors,” the parties would also likely be part of related real estate development projects around a new arena as well as other “ancillary business opportunities,” he added.
“There’s quite a number of families here that are interested in being a part of it,” Abraham said. “Definitely I would say they’re names you’d recognize. We’re prioritizing them and we’re having those conversations now.”
At least half a dozen bidders remain in the race to purchase the Senators. Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds is part of the most prominent bid led by real estate developers Remington Group.