Sports data specialist Sportradar has acquired the shares and core business of sportsman media holding, the Munich-based sports media rights and marketing agency, in a bid to upgrade its audiovisual content portfolio.
The business, which also maintains a London office, has been acquired from its co-CEOs and founders Thomas Krohne and Karl Wiesender for an undisclosed sum.
Under the terms of the deal, Sportradar acquires the sports rights and marketing division of sportsman media group, the international online sports TV division LAOLA1.tv, Austria’s largest sports website LAOLA1 Multimedia, and live streaming subsidiary unas media productions.
These assets will all be integrated into the existing Sportradar business, with the combination expected to create “one of the largest and most compelling audiovisual sports offerings currently available from a single provider.”
This portfolio will include premium content such as the Bundesliga, German football cup competition the DFB Pokal and Spain’s Copa Del Rey, as well as coverage of the Chinese Basketball Association, the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV), International Tennis Federation and events from the Kontinental Hockey League. It will also provide audiovisual betting content for niche sports such as table tennis, badminton and other events.
“We have chosen an ideal buyer for our group of companies with Sportradar,” sportsman co-CEO Thomas Krohne commented. “The sports rights, production and platform business we set up perfectly complements that of Sportradar.
“The clear synergies give us confidence that the company we built up and our staff have very good future prospects under Carsten Koerl's stewardship,” he explained. “This was important to us when choosing this buyer. The size and international orientation of Sportradar offer the ideal conditions for successfully developing the business we set up.”
Krohne’s co-CEO Wieseneder added: “We look back proudly on an entrepreneurial achievement that has been a great deal of fun that we enjoyed together with our employees and has shaped our lives for more than ten years.
“We thank our employees and partners, without whom this company’s development would not have been possible. Thomas Krohne and I now want a fresh entrepreneurial challenge with all the freedom that it brings with it.”
The pair will leave the sportsman upon completion of the deal, though its remaining management team will stay with the company to ensure continuity.
Krohne and Wieseneder will continue to manage the holding investments that have not been acquired by Sportradar. These include WRC Promoter, a joint venture with Red Bull; Bremen’s largest sports and fitness facility Werder Sports; property business DuoDomi Objekteinrichtungen and the Fanreport Holding, among other assets.
“Even after 15 years in the betting industry, Sportradar never rests on its laurels,” Sportradar chief executive Carsten Koerl said. “Although we already provide the market-leading offering in data, odds and trading services, this agreement marks a shift.
“It will upgrade our audiovisual portfolio and will ensure that our clients will have the broadest and best range of solutions to choose from, whether on an individual basis, or whether on a bespoke bundle of solutions basis,” he said. “But it also provides a unique opportunity to explore new synergies where we can cross-pollinate our various products and services.
“Let’s also not forget the possibilities the Laola1 platforms present: through these channels, we will explore how we can provide rights holders and industry partners the maximum awareness and reach in combination with some of our unique data services and solutions.”
While the acquisition paperwork has been signed by Sportradar and the sportsman, the deal still has to be ratified by the relevant anti-trust authorities, with closing expected to occur by June.