Global digital performance publisher XLMedia said it has made a significant step forward this week in its stated strategy to expand its presence in the high growth US sports market with the acquisition of sports gaming and sports betting business CBWG.
XLMedia will pay an upfront consideration of $12m in cash, new XLMedia plc shares (representing an aggregate value of $3.5m), as well as potential future contingent consideration of up to an additional $9.5m.
CBWG owns and operates the sports websites CrossingBroad.com and EliteSportsNY.com, and sports betting and gaming focused sites PASportsbooks.com, BetNewJersey.com, ActionRush.com, and PromoCodeKings.com.
In addition to having agreements in place with some of the largest sports betting operators in the US, the business also has an agency arm, which partners with leading sports media brands to drive user acquisition in the regulated betting markets of Colorado, Illinois, and Tennessee. It is registered as a sports gaming affiliate in six states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Stuart Simms, CEO of XLMedia, noted: “It is great to have acquired such an attractive set of assets during an inflection point for the US sports betting market. On some estimates, almost 60% of the US population is set to have legal access to Sports betting by the end of 2022 – this could include New York, where one of the key assets, EliteSportsNY.com, is focused.”
As part of the deal, founders Kyle Scott and Jason Ziernicki will stay on in newly created roles that will leverage their background expertise and market experience in US sports.
Simms explained: “In order to build upon the positive momentum of CBWG, it is important to retain the team, especially the founders, Kyle and Jason; it is great to be able to depend upon their sports expertise and knowledge. They are also exceptionally keen to play a central role in the next exciting stage of the journey, both for this business and for our broader US operations.”
Ziernicki commented: “The strategic vision XLMedia has for the US is a big reason why we decided to join forces with Stuart and his team. By combining our resources, I believe we have a collective vision that will take XLMedia to new heights here in the US underpinned by strong affiliate-based growth to ultimately build a major media brand.”
“Our core audience is comprised of sports fans who appreciate honest and authentic voices,” said Scott. “With our owned sites and agency partnerships, including brands that have built loyal audiences over a decade, we have trusted voices in local sports markets.” said Scott.