Ringier AG, a Swiss media giant, has purchased a controlling stake in Sportal Media Group, a leading Balkan sports publisher, greatly extending its sports media presence across emerging markets.
The investment comes after a fruitful two-year partnership that saw the companies form the ‘Ringier Sportal’ joint venture for the Romanian sports industry.
Sportal’s dominant Bulkan media coverage will be strengthened, and the growth of Sportal’s technology studio, Digital Ventures OOD, which is creating ‘Sportal365,’ a next-generation content management framework for global sports stakeholders, will be accelerated.
Ladina Heimgartner, Head Global Media of Ringier AG said: “The investment in Sportal Media Group is a further milestone for Ringier as a digital media company with a strong journalistic DNA as well as an important sign for the future of our Global Media Division.
“I am convinced that Ringier’s strong global publishing experience and Sportal`s digital platform know-how is a perfect fit to set innovative standards in sports media globally.”
Best coverage of European digital publishers
Sportal, which has been in operation since 2006, has established itself as offering some of the best coverage of European digital publishers, with a portfolio of 24 websites covering sports, culture, and politics.
According to reports, the legacy Sportal.bg site for the Bulgarian sports industry generates +85 million monthly page views, accounting for 55% of Bulgaria’s overall online viewership.
New chapter for Ringier
Ringier’s acquisition, according to Sportal Chief Executive Stilian Shishkov, is a new chapter for the group, which is looking to diversify its goods and technological capabilities outside sports publishing.
“Together with Ringier we will be able to bring our leading digital brands to another level in every aspect and make them even more attractive for our loyal audience,” Shishkov stated.
“At the same time, we will take globally our sports media knowledge and stellar content publishing platform which is a critical part of running a successful digital sports brand. The step we take today is a major one, and it is the beginning of a great venture in the highly competitive sports media industry.”