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Volume 22 No. 19

Media

Sports Business Journal could begin publishing data-rich industry reports in 2019 after its parent company, Advance Publications, acquired a majority stake in the Dutch esports and gaming research shop Newzoo.

Founded in Amsterdam in 2007, Newzoo has become a go-to data source for journalists and brands evaluating the emerging world of competitive video gaming. Advance, the parent company of SBJ and Leaders, will “make a significant capital investment” to accelerate Newzoo’s growth, according to a statement.

The Advance deal follows SBJ’s recent acquisition of Leaders and investment in The Esports Observer. Talks first began as Advance officials were looking for more investment targets in esports and saw data and analytics as an important way to bridge the gap between traditional sports and gaming. Enthusiasm grew as they met the founders and realized Newzoo’s potential in other sports verticals.

“Adding Newzoo to the Advance family of companies will add innovative power and capabilities to our group and help us build our sports intelligence business,” said SBJ co-founder and CEO Whitney Shaw. “Combining the data and resources that we already have at SBJ with the tech, talent and expertise of Newzoo will be amazing.”

Newzoo CEO and co-founder Peter Warman said he found exactly the buyer he was looking for: an independent company with complementary lines of business in media and technology. “Being part of the Advance family of companies provides us with new opportunities, such as our partnership with Sports Business Journal, a prospect that I’m particularly excited about,” Warman said.

With the Advance backing, Newzoo is targeting growth in Asia and the U.S., and will be used to increase its capabilities in big data processing, machine learning and interface technology, co-founder and CFO Thijs Hagoort said.

Financial terms were not disclosed.