Sportradar branches out with Sportsman acquisition

Sports and betting-related services company Sportradar has agreed a deal to acquire the shares and core business of the Sportsman Media Group agency.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the agreement has been reached with the chief executives and founders of Sportsman, Thomas Krohne and Karl Wieseneder.

The deal agreed upon by the parties will significantly upgrade Sportradar’s offering in the audiovisual sports content sector. Last year, the two companies delivered over 27,000 live broadcasts to the betting and gaming industry.

The combined portfolio will create one of the largest audiovisual sports offerings currently available from a single provider, including premium content such as German football’s Bundesliga and DFB Pokal, along with the Spanish Copa del Rey, European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) events, International Tennis Federation events and ice hockey’s Kontinental Hockey League, as well as leading table tennis and badminton properties.

Under the terms of the deal, Sportradar will acquire Sportsman Media Group GmbH – the sports rights and marketing agency with the Sportsman’s betting and gaming services – sports streaming platform, Laola1 Multimedia – the operator of Austria's largest sports website as well as new media service partner for clubs and organisations, and Unas Media Productions – the live streaming and video-platform production arm – and will integrate them into the existing Sportradar business. The deal is subject to approval from antitrust authorities, with the agreement expected to close no later than June.

Krohne said: “We have chosen an ideal buyer for our group of companies with Sportradar. 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. 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.”

Sportradar chief executive Koerl added: “Even after 15 years in the betting industry, Sportradar never rests on its laurels. 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.

“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.”

Krohne and Wieseneder will continue with the holding investments that do not belong to the core business in a joint venture. These include WRC Promoter, a joint venture with energy drinks giant Red Bull that manages the commercial rights of the World Rally Championship.

Krohne and Wieseneder will leave the company at the closing of the deal, while the management will stay to give continuity to the business.