Global digital performance publisher XLMedia said it took a big move forward this week in its announced plan to expand its footprint with the acquisition of sports gaming and sports betting company CBWG in the high-growth US sports market.
XLMedia will pay $12 million in cash, new XLMedia plc shares (representing a cumulative value of $3.5 million), as well as possible future contingent compensation of up to an additional $9.5 million.
The sports websites CrossingBroad.com and EliteSportsNY.com and the sports betting and gaming sites PASportsbooks.com, BetNewJersey.com, ActionRush.com and PromoCodeKings.com are owned and run by CBWG.
The company also has an agency arm, which partners with leading sports media brands to drive consumer acquisitions in the regulated betting markets of Colorado, Illinois, and Tennessee, in addition to having agreements in place with some of the largest sports betting operators in the US. In six states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it is registered as a sports gaming affiliate.
Stuart Simms, XLMedia’s CEO, 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.”
Founders Kyle Scott and Jason Ziernicki will remain on in newly formed positions as part of the deal, leveraging their background insight and business success 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.