Saturday Football Inc. was acquired by XLMedia for a total of US$23.0 million in cash (c.£16.8 million) plus US$1.0 million in long-term incentive shares (c.£0.7 million).
The transaction is the result of a conversion of an existing agency collaboration between XLMedia and Saturday Football Inc., which began in December 2020 and resulted in a close working relationship with management as well as income potential.
For the college football news publisher, the performance marketing firm will pay US$11.0 million up front, plus an additional US$12.0 million over three equal payments on the first, second, and third anniversaries of the deal.
In addition, the company’s founders will get US$1.0 million in long-term incentive shares of XLMedia if they stay on. XLMedia’s existing cash reserves will be used to pay the acquisition.
Saturday Football Inc., which was founded in 2014, owns and maintains saturdaydownsouth.com and saturdaytradition.com, two significant college football media sites that cover the popular Southeastern Conference and Big 10 collegiate sports conferences. The sites have a combined monthly audience of around 10 million visitors.
Operating content-rich websites
According to XLMedia, the acquisition accelerates the company’s objective of operating content-rich websites across promising growth geographies.
Access to the large US College Football market is a key benefit of this purchase, which complements XLMedia’s current US portfolio, which includes Sports Betting Dime and CBWG Sports, both of which were bought within the last year.
In addition to benefiting from established social media, video and content production, and programmatic AdTech capabilities, XLMedia will strive to utilise Saturday Football Inc.’s important brand sponsorships.
Extremely productive working relationship
XLMedia’s Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Simms, said: “We are delighted to be acquiring Saturday Football Inc., cementing an already extremely productive working relationship.
“Over the last twelve months we have got to know the business very well and have been hugely impressed with their team, their systems and most importantly their market reach.
“This transaction provides additional operation depth and reach to our sports footprint which we believe is fast becoming a significant growth driver for our business.
“With the forthcoming US College Football season about to commence, the timing of this transaction couldn’t be better with our growing US presence ideally positioned to further support the team at Saturday Football Inc.”
Ken Dorward, XLMedia Head of North America, added: “We are thrilled to be delivering on XLMedia’s strategic vision for American sports, and look forward to welcoming the Saturday Football Inc. team, who really complement our existing portfolio as we pursue this once in a generation US opportunity.”