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Volume 21 No. 2
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Mandalay Sports goes coast to coast with Roadside purchase

Mandalay Sports Media bought New York-based production house Roadside Entertainment in a move that positions Mandalay on both coasts.

“We have aspirations to be a broad-based media company, and this extends our reach,” said the company’s founder and co-chairman Mike Tollin, who would not disclose terms of the acquisition. “It’s very helpful for us to have a presence on the East Coast with a partner we trust that can jump in and take care of things.”

Mike Tollin
Tollin, the well-known Hollywood producer and director, launched Mandalay Sports Media with Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber nearly two years ago to invest in and develop programming for TV, broadband and mobile platforms.

Mandalay Sports Media and Roadside have worked on several projects together, most notably on “Ink” for AOL. “Ink” is a series of vignettes on athletes and their tattoos.

As part of the deal, which will be announced this week, Roadside partners Ron Yassen and John Hirsch will become executive vice presidents of production for Mandalay Sports Media.

Within sports media, Roadside is best known for producing the ESPYs for ESPN and several documentaries for NFL Network. Mandalay Sports Media was particularly interested in the company’s online work. Roadside launched a sports-centric YouTube channel called NOC (“Network of Champions”) with Baron Davis and Cash Warren.

Both Yassen and Hirsch have long résumés in sports media. Yassen helped launch Classic Sports Network, which became ESPN Classic, and has produced documentaries for ESPN series including “SportsCentury” and “Outside the Lines.” A former ABC Sports producer, Hirsch helped launch the XFL.

CAA is a founding partner in Mandalay Sports Media.