NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Complex Media (complex.com), the premier multimedia lifestyle destination for young males, today announced that it has secured a $25 million investment from Iconix Brand Group, the leading brand management and licensing company.
Among other uses, Complex Media will use the infusion of capital to accelerate its aggressive growth strategy. The company plans to hasten the expansion of its content offerings, particularly video, and deepen its investment in infrastructure and technology, with a focus on developing a leading-edge multiplatform content management system. The company also plans to launch an e-commerce platform, a pivotal new initiative. In connection with its investment, Iconix CEO Neil Cole will join the Complex Media board.
Iconix Brand Group owns, licenses and markets a growing portfolio of over 30 consumer brands. The portfolio consists of many brands that target the Complex Media audience, including Rocawear, Zoo York, Billionaire Boys Club, Ice Cream, Ecko Unlimited, Marc Ecko Cut & Sew, Starter, and recently acquired Umbro. These brands represent over $3 billion in annual retail sales.
"The investment from Iconix Brand Group is transformative and will allow us to accelerate our already rapid growth while making key investments that will diversify our revenue base," said Rich Antoniello, CEO of Complex Media. "We're particularly focused on launching an e-commerce offering, and scaling our video production and distribution capabilities – with a goal of reaching one billion video views in 2014. We're also planning to speed the expansion of our branded content, mobile and social media teams. In addition, the funding will enable us to be more aggressive in making strategic acquisitions."
Continued Mr. Antoniello: "We are thrilled to have Neil Cole join our board. He has an unsurpassed pedigree when it comes to overseeing global brands; as a result of his singular leadership, Iconix is at the vanguard as more brands become publishers. Neil also has an impressive clarity of vision about the great opportunities that emerge when content meets commerce."
Neil Cole stated: "The Complex Media model is at the forefront of the digital revolution. Under the leadership of Rich Antoniello, the destination has become an incredibly effective platform for brands to intimately connect with their target audience. Given Iconix's diverse portfolio of men's brands, this platform is a powerful asset for us as we shift our marketing strategies to be more digitally focused and presents a unique opportunity to further engage with our core consumer. Marc Ecko, co-founder of Complex Media and a partner of Iconix Brand Group, is a true visionary and early adopter of the notion that brands need to think like publishers."
Marc Ecko stated: "I am very enthusiastic about this next phase for Complex. I believe in partnerships – and unfair advantages – and having Neil Cole join us is a game changer. His guidance will help us best serve brands' needs and pain points. Neil gets the space and knows the inefficiencies and challenges of consumer marketing. This is further proof that we are more 3-D than a conventional media company."
Complex Media features a collective of entertainment, sports and lifestyle properties for millennial males. Complex Media continues to expand its reach and engagement, in July posting a record 90 million unique visitors* and 931 million pageviews, with over 30% of traffic generated via social platforms.
In addition to experiencing strong traffic growth, Complex Media has seen a significant expansion in the size of its team, which now has 218 full-time employees, 40% more than a year ago. Of Complex Media's 55 editorial staffers, 11 are in the video unit, which launched this year, and six are exclusively in the branded content group.
*Source: Google Analytics
About Complex Media:
Complex Media is the largest multiplatform lifestyle destination for young males. The company is comprised of a collective of lifestyle sites for men, anchored by a flagship hub, Complex.com, the online home of Complex magazine (founded in 2002). Complex Media consists of a carefully curated family of sites that are vetted for editorial integrity and consistency. Complex Media has a powerful social platform, with more than 30% of its traffic derived from social networks. The company offers cutting-edge video and industry leading branded content opportunities for marketers, and works with many of the world's top brands including Levi's, Cadillac, Pepsi, Heineken and Reebok.
SOURCE Complex Media