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Volume 21 No. 34
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OneUp Sports buys digital video outfit CineSport

Mobile sports company OneUp Sports has acquired New Jersey-based digital video company Cine-Sport, creating a large-scale operation servicing local media outlets and individual teams.

The 4-year-old OneUp Sports has built a growing business developing mobile applications for pro teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors, and leagues such as the NFL and NASCAR, as well as creating its own proprietary mobile games and second-screen experiences.

CineSport, meanwhile, in its eighth year of operation syndicates video content to more than 700 publishers, primarily major metro newspapers such as The Boston Globe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Daily News.

OneUp executives said they saw an opportunity to create a broad digital business based heavily on local-market activation.

“This was really a case of one plus one equaling three,” said Daren Trousdell, chief executive for the Florida-based OneUp Sports. “We don’t have the video tech and production capabilities that CineSport does, and they are not as focused on mobile as we have been. So it makes for a strong combination, and by merging, we can aggregate a very high audience.”

Financial terms were not disclosed. Investors in CineSport, founded and led by former NBA executive Gregg Winik, have included Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment, which made a low-seven-figure investment for a minority stake in the company two years ago. OneUp now owns all the equity in the company, and Trousdell said the deal includes “a path for further upside” for CineSport’s investors.

OneUp will retain CineSport’s staff of about 20. No decisions have been made about retaining the CineSport brand name.

Winik said he was looking to align CineSport with a larger organization to accelerate the growth of the company.
“We’re both in the ad sales business, and scale is very important,” Winik said. “We’re also both local in focus, so between the team and media business, we think we collectively have a very compelling proposition to the market.”