SBJ/20090126/This Week's News

Digitaria forms sports division, signs AVP deal

Digitaria, a San Diego-based digital marketing and technology firm, has formed a separate sports division to handle its growing corporate focus on the industry.

The firm has a one-year deal to design
and manage the AVP’s digital assets.

As part of the reorganization, the firm has signed a one-year deal, with options, to design and manage the digital assets of AVP Pro Beach Volleyball. AVP had been aligned with MLB Advanced Media since early 2007, but its contract with baseball’s digital arm was not renewed after Dec. 31.

MLBAM is sharpening its focus on its own properties and is tabbing only select, larger clients for outside work.

Digitaria in recent years has secured nearly two dozen sports-related digital projects, including the construction of Web sites for the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, International Speedway Corp. and, most recently, the expansion Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer. The new division, which will comprise about 20 people out of Digitaria’s total head-count of 90, will target the major American stick-and-ball properties as well as action and international sports.

Van Spyk

“The landscape is definitely moving,” said John Van Spyk, Digitaria vice president and the executive who will lead the new sports division. “You’ve certainly had in recent years some properties move to bring more of their digital assets in-house. Some will be able to pull it off, but some league and team solutions have room for improvement, so we still feel there is a lot of opportunity. This framework allows us to specialize our team and really have a concentrated focus.”

The redesigned AVP site was scheduled to have launched last Friday. It was slated to include an increased emphasis on social-media applications, video content and real-time information. Further enhancements are planned for later this year.

“This is the next step of our evolution, and one that will allow us to expand our [digital] capabilities and offer new opportunities and content to our fans,” said Leonard Armato, AVP commissioner. “BAM was a good partner, but their business model has changed a bit, and our parting was a good one. We’re coming out now with a fresh, new look that’s going to allow people to go deeper into what we’re doing.”

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