PERFORM and American City Business Journals Inc. Form Partnership to Create PERFORM Sporting News Limited PERFORM Sporting News Limited, which will operate under the Sporting News Media brand, will combine PERFORM's ePlayer, the number 1 sports video platform in US, and Sporting News digital assets, and reach over 33m sports fans monthly

NEW YORK, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- PERFORM Group plc ("PERFORM") and American City Business Journals, Inc. ("ACBJ"), a division of Advance Publications Inc., announced today that they are partnering to create a new sports media venture in the US and Canadian markets – PERFORM Sporting News Limited. The new entity, which will operate under the brand, Sporting News Media, will see the two organizations combine their management, sales, content, technology, editorial and media assets to create one of the leading digital sports media businesses in North America.  

ACBJ owns Sporting News, one of the oldest and most iconic sports media brands in the US which has a number of products and services across PC, mobile and tablet – including SportingNews.com, a top 10 US sports site that reached over 11m unique sports fans in February[1].

PERFORM owns and syndicates ePlayer, the number one sports VOD platform in the US that streams highlights and news from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA Tour, MLS, WTA, ATP, UFC, SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC conferences across over 250 news publisher websites and reached 20.9m[2] unique fans in February; PERFORM also owns Goal, the world's largest soccer portal available on PC, mobile and tablet. Goal attracts over 1m US and Canadian unique soccer fans per month.

The combination of these media assets puts the new venture's reach at over 33m[3] unique sports fans per month and positions Sporting News Media as a top 5 digital sports media property in the US market.

For over 127 years Sporting News has looked to fuel informed conversations among fans through thought provocative, original multi-media content and expert curation of third party content delivered to the consumers' favorite devices. The new venture embodies the successful transition from the traditional print brand to a leading player in the digital sports media space.

"We are excited to be partnering with PERFORM which has rapidly become a global digital sports media powerhouse," commented Whitney Shaw, CEO of ACBJ. "Their focus on multi-media innovation that serves sports fans on any device is exactly what Sporting News is aiming at doing for its next 127 years. By partnering with PERFORM, we are combining the heritage and editorial excellence of one of the US's oldest sports media brands with a forward-looking, digitally-focused organization with tremendous technology, content and media assets to create an innovative leader in the digital sports space."

Oliver Slipper, Joint-CEO of PERFORM, added, "in Sporting News we have found the right partner that will enable us to accelerate the growth of our US business. The transformation of the Sporting News brand from all print to all digital over the last few years has truly been remarkable.  With growth in digital reach of 950% and digital revenue growth of almost 300%, Sporting News has accomplished something many legacy brands only aspire to achieve.  Combining that powerful brand with the digital video leadership of PERFORM's ePlayer will enable us to build a truly dynamic business in the United States and Canada. Additionally as soccer cements itself as a top 5 sport in the US, Goal is an extremely exciting asset for this partnership to nurture and grow, in particular with the World Cup around the corner."

Juan Delgado, Managing Director PERFORM Americas, and newly named Managing Director of Sporting News Media added: "We could not be more excited about this new venture. The synergies between Sporting News and PERFORM provide attractive immediate opportunities and position Sporting News Media among the leading sports media brands in the US market. The scale and reach of this business alongside its deep technical, editorial and content capabilities will provide US sports fans with great news, video and data content and, as importantly will offer brands the opportunity to reach and engage with these fans in unique ways."

Jeff Price, President of Sporting News and newly named President of Sporting News Media, commented: "This is a huge step forward in the continued evolution of Sporting News' appeal to sports fans and marketers. While the majority of the scaled players in the US sports category are hyper-focused on the 'live window' around games, Sporting News Media has become the leading alternative to serve fans looking for insights and information between games. Given the increasing amount of time that fans are spending across multiple devices outside the 'live window' to find an edge that helps fuel the sports 'water cooler' conversation, Sporting News Media is well positioned to deliver unique value to both fans and marketers across web, video, mobile and social media platforms."  

Transaction Summary

PERFORM and American City Business Journals have established a joint venture, which is owned 65% by PERFORM and 35% owned by ACBJ. 

About PERFORM Group Plc

PERFORM is a market leader in the commercialization of multimedia sports content across internet-enabled digital platforms. Through production, technical and commercial solutions, PERFORM powers digital channels that distribute content in a number of forms - video, editorial, audio and data – across multiple platforms, to millions of sports fans around the world. PERFORM Group Plc is a FTSE 250 business and listed on the London Stock Exchange.

www.performgroup.com

About American City Business Journals & Sporting News

American City Business Journals, owned by Advance Publications Inc. a privately held media company, is the premier print and digital publisher of local business news in the United States.

Sporting News is one of the oldest sports media brands in the USA. For over 125 years Sporting News has provided the very best, 'to-the-source' reporting and curated the "best of" related content across topics, teams and writers to enable smart, personal, authenticated conversation amongst sports fans. SportingNews.com is a top 10 U.S. sports destination on comScore, SportingNews.com provides strong reach and compelling sponsorship opportunities for video and display advertising around multi-media content.


[1] Comscore Sports My Metrix, February 2013

[2] Comscore Sports Video Metrix, February 2013

[3] Based on Comscore, Sport My Metrix and Sport Video Metrix for February 2013; Sporting News (11.3m), Goal sites (0.9m) and Perform Sports network (20.9m)

 

SOURCE Sporting News Media



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