Sources: Tom Dundon Doesn’t Own AAF’s Gambling-Forward Tech Arm

Apr 06, 2019 10:00 PM EDT
Credit:

Jason Getz, USA Today Sports. Pictured: James Quick

  • The Alliance of American Football (AAF) suspended its operations on Tuesday.
  • The league's majority owner, Tom Dundon, had invested $70 million in cash over a seven-week period, leading some to believe that he owned the business' underlying technology.
  • But sources tell The Action Network that is not the case.

A theory goes that Tom Dundon folded the AAF so that he could take the business’ technology and use it for his own purposes.

There’s only one problem with this.

Even though Dundon’s $70 million cash investment bought him the majority of the parent company that owned the AAF, Ebersol Sports Media, The Action Network has learned that Dundon does not own the technology under Ebersol Sports Media’s tech arm called Legendary Field Exhibitions.

When MGM invested money into the AAF’s tech business last June, it included a provision that would give MGM the rights to own the tech if the AAF went out of business.

Sources confirmed the deal after The Action Network discovered evidence of a financing lien filed with the Delaware Secretary of State.

The lien, filed in October, gave MGM rights to the technology’s intellectual property, including trademarks, copyrights, patents, software and firmware.

An MGM spokesperson said nothing has changed since the original filing, though the filing itself was never publicly reported and obviously wasn’t applicable until the league suspended operations on Tuesday.

MGM’s investment came with a three-year sponsorship of the technology. The league’s app, which allowed fans to project what would happen next, was talked up by some AAF insiders as a legitimate side company.

While the real-time projection of what would happen next resided in the league’s app, MGM had planned to have live in-game betting for AAF games in its app, something that never came to fruition.

A legal source told The Action Network that even if Dundon filed the league for bankruptcy, the lien would put MGM in the driver’s seat to own the technology.

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