Bloomberg Sports, IMG Wrap Up Partnership Deal
Bloomberg Sports has completed a joint venture partnership deal with IMG in which the global sports and entertainment company has acquired a minority stake in Bloomberg's fast-growing fantasy and professional sports management operation. Financial terms were not disclosed, but industry sources pegged the deal in the $6-8M range, with IMG acquiring roughly a third of the company and Bloomberg retaining majority control. The alignment, several months in development and first reported in April by SportsBusiness Journal, is designed foremost to accelerate an international expansion of Bloomberg's sports-oriented analytics products. "We're very excited to have this done and be able to look to the next phase of our company's growth," said Head of Bloomberg Sports Bill Squadron, head of IMG Media's interactive operations in North America from '04-06. "We think there's a huge opportunity for us in both Europe and Asia in things like soccer and cricket." Bloomberg Sports, in operation for nearly four years, has built a two-pronged operation in which it sells a variety of analytics products to fantasy sports enthusiasts, and also has developed professional-grade products used by more than 20 MLB clubs to evaluate players and opponents. Inner Circle Sports advised Bloomberg Sports on the deal. "Bloomberg is a renowned global brand, and we are very excited about our investment," said IMG Senior VP/Strategic Planning & Financial Operations Rob Ponger. "We believe the field of data analytics has enormous growth potential and IMG's presence around the world can play an important role in the success of this partnership going forward." Bloomberg Sports will retain its brand name, as well as existing offices in both N.Y. and London.