Top Story

e4m_logo.png

Home >> Digital >> Article

Turner International and Bigballs Media sign Strategic Equity Investment

02-February-2017
Font Size   16
Turner International and Bigballs Media sign Strategic Equity Investment

Turner International’s Digital Ventures & Innovation Group today announced an equity investment in digital media sports company Bigballs Media (BBM), parent company of one of the world's fastest-growing digital video platforms for football content, Copa90. The funding will be used to fuel BBM’s international expansion, content production and distribution and enhance its data capabilities as it continues its growth trajectory. The investment will fuel further international growth and fully establish Copa90 as the definitive football youth media brand.

Turner’s Digital Ventures & Innovation Group was recently formed to focus on opportunities for innovation, development and acquisition. The investment comes within the group’s first month of operations and signals the company’s commitment to increasing its presence in the digital sports space. Turner is the largest provider of funding for the Series B investment round and the main strategic investor. In parallel, Turner and BBM have signed a commercial agreement which embraces multiple opportunities for Turner and BBM to leverage their respective distribution and content production expertise. The partnership expands on an existing commercial relationship with leading digital sports brand Bleacher Report, a division of Turner. The cross-platform commercial agreement includes strategic co-branded content production, the development of third party branded content and sponsorship opportunities, and content creation for Turner’s own channels. It also facilitates BBM’s close collaboration across the wider Turner portfolio, including Esporte Interativo, Turner Sports and CNN. Additionally, Aksel van der Wal, head of Digital Ventures & Innovation, will take a seat on BBM’s board of directors, and Alex Vargas, COO Bleacher Report, becomes a board observer.

“Partnering with relevant brands is a core part of our strategy to compete and lead in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape,” said Aksel van der Wal, executive vice president, Digital Ventures & Innovation, for Turner International. “We see really exciting opportunities to work with BBM in developing creative ways to engage new audiences, in particular expanding our growing touchpoints with millennials while also offering innovative new platforms for advertisers. It is exactly the kind of forward-looking partnership we hope to establish more of.”

Tom Thirlwall, CEO, BBM, said, “Our ambition is to be the world’s most influential football media business by the time the 2018 World Cup kicks off and this investment and partnership with Turner is a decisive step towards making that a reality. “We had significant interest in our round but Turner was by far and away the most compelling because of their team, vision and the strategic opportunities for both our businesses. The investment will enable us to accelerate our growth in our core markets, build our data and distribution capabilities and expand our commercial teams in Europe and the US and of course continue to make the best fan culture football content.”

“Bleacher Report and Copa90 share a passion for global football fan culture. We are very excited about the investment and taking a step forward in expanding our existing relationship. Our hugely popular "Saturdays Are Lit" Snapchat collaboration has set a great benchmark for the kind of exciting opportunities we expect to develop together,” said Alex Vargas, COO Bleacher Report.

The investment in BBM is the latest in a series of investments by Turner in the digital space and the first with a company headquartered outside of the US. It follows on from similar investments in 2016 in Refinery29 and Mashable. The company also acquired a majority stake in iStreamPlanet in 2015. Turner has also recently expanded Bleacher Report and injected new investment in CNN Digital. Internationally it has launched a suite of new digital-first destinations and apps across the broader digital ecosystem to extend its fan engagement around flagship properties such as CNN, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim, as part of the company’s accelerated focus on evolving its digital business interests and capabilities.

Tags Turner International Bigballs Media Copa90

Vijay Mansukhani, speaks to exchange4media about the resurgence of Onida, the scope of growth of consumer electronics market in India and the reasons why Indian consumer electronics brands don’t compete on a global scale

Projjol Banerjea opens up about hiring Anne Macdonald and GroupM's Rob Norman, and the brand's new identity

Meera Iyer tells exchange4media that in FY 2016/17, bigbasket clocked a revenue of Rs 1,400 crore. The online supermarket currently stands at 70,000 orders a day, with operations in 25 cities.

CMO, Kashyap Vadapalli on the start-up’s marketing play, why it has decided to stay away from IPL and response to its furniture rental apps

In terms of affiliates, India ranks on the top. Spurred by the fast growth of mobile users and hence internet users, there are millions of websites, apps, WAP-sites and blogs using affiliate marketing...

Insecurity in the workplace due to the idea of AI encroaching on your job, or being sidelined at work because of your small town background? Sandeep Goyal has the right answers to help you deal with w...

As National Sales Head at News18.com, Ashish aims to bring on board a maximum number of advertising partners and consolidate the network’s position as a leader in the space.