Sportradar AG has acquired the shares and core business of the sportsman media holding GmbH from the CEOs and founders of the sportsman, Thomas Krohne and Karl Wieseneder. The sportsman is one of Europe’s leading sports media rights, marketing and platform companies.
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. This combined portfolio will create one of the largest and most compelling audiovisual sports offerings currently available from a single provider, including premium content such as the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Copa del Rey in football, basketball’s CBA, volleyball’s CEV, ITF Tennis and ice hockey’s KHL, as well as some of the most important audiovisual betting content available across table tennis, badminton and many other events and event series.
Under the terms of the deal, Sportradar will acquire the sportsman media group GmbH (the sports rights and marketing agency with the sportsman’s betting and gaming services), LAOLA1.tv (the international online sports TV), LAOLA1 Multimedia (the operator of Austria’s largest sports website as well as new media service partner for clubs and organizations), and unas media productions (the live streaming and video-platform production arm), and will integrate them into the existing Sportradar business. While the acquisition paperwork has now been signed by the two parties, the deal still needs to be approved by the relevant anti-trust authorities and the current expectation is that closing will occur no later than June 2016.
Speaking about the acquisition, the sportsman media holding founder and Co-CEO Thomas 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 AG CEO Carsten Koerl also outlined his excitement: “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.”
Karl Wieseneder, founder, Co-CEO and shareholder of the sportsman media holding said: “After 15 years of building up LAOLA1 and over ten years together with Thomas Krohne as an associate partner and CEO of the group, we have decided to put our company into new hands. 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 parting founders and Co-CEOs Thomas Krohne and Karl Wieseneder will continue with the holding investments that do not belong to the core business in a joint venture. These include in particular WRC Promoter GmbH (a joint venture with Red Bull), Werder Sports (Bremen’s largest sports and fitness facility), DuoDomi Objekteinrichtungen property specialists, the Fanreport Holding and other joint ventures. Thomas Krohne and Karl Wieseneder will leave the company at the closing of the deal, while the management will stay to give continuity to the business.
About the Sportsman Media Holding
“the sportsman” stands for emotional digital sporting experiences – live, at any time and everywhere.
With its subsidiaries and shareholdings, the group has covered the entire value chain of media rights in digital marketing within sport through their digital products and services for the last 15 years. Business areas range from media rights, sports marketing, production services, digital platforms, digital services, as well as services for sports betting providers.
In 2004 Thomas Krohne founded the sportsman media group as a rights agency in Munich. In 2005, amongst others, the company received the rights for the worldwide marketing of media rights of the German Football Bundesliga. In 2006 they launched, together with the sports betting provider bwin.com, a LIVE streaming proposition for sports betting platforms. In 2006 Karl Wieseneder took over LAOLA1.at in Vienna, which he had been building up from 2001 onwards. Also in 2006, Thomas Krohne and Karl Wieseneder united their business activities under one umbrella: the sportsman media holding GmbH. The launch of unas media productions, leading experts in live streaming and video-platform productions, followed in 2006 and LAOLA1.tv, the international sports TV on the internet, was founded in 2007.
In 2015 the sportsman media holding’s subsidiaries, holdings and 400+ employees generated around €90 million in revenue.
More information can be found on http://www.thesportsmanholding.com