Sports media group Better Collective has recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement which will lead to the acquisition of Canada’s Playmaker Capital Inc. for a total sum of $188 million.
This acquisition includes all of the issued and outstanding shares that pertain to Playmaker Capital Inc., all of which are subject to a number of customary closing conditions.
Additionally, this record deal will have the effect of doubling the company’s audience across the globe.
In this way, it is apparent that this deal will have drastic impacts on both of these companies and their considerable audiences.
This deal comprises the second largest acquisition that Better Collective has made to date and has the effect of continuing the Danish company’s rapid expansion in the Americas.
In addition to this, with the confirmation of this transaction, and the company’s acquisition of the most popular sports media brands in the entire region, Better Collective will be able to secure a market leading position in South America.
Playmaker Capital, a digital media company located in Toronto, Canada, was acquired by Better Collective in an effort to provide a significant boost to its consumer-facing brands across the Americas.
Better Collective has announced that it is funding this deal in the following manner:
65% equity – This includes the issuance of new shares
35% in cash
This acquisition was unveiled two and a half years following the announcement of Better Collective’s record deal with The Action Network: This was purchased for $240 million with a combination of cash and stocks, and is the largest acquisition made by this Danish company thus far.
The scheduled closure of this transaction is set for the first financial quarter of next year. This is in light of the way in which this acquisition is subject to several legal and regulatory approvals, as well as to the approval of the investors of Playmaker Capital’s investors.
Two of Playmaker Capital’s largest investors include the following:
JPG Investments Inc.
These two investors are in control of 24% of the firm’s outstanding equity.
Subsequently to the closure of this deal, Better Collective will take control of the following network of sporting websites that were previously owned by the firm:
The Nation Network (TNN)
When combined, all the portals owned by Playmaker Capital generate over 200 million visitors on a monthly basis.
Futbol Sites is one of the most popular of these portals, attracting over 180 million visitors per month. This soccer-related website produces online and video content, content for social media, as well as for podcasts. This content is all geared towards the largest fan-favorite sports community in South America.
Once this transaction comes to a close, Playmaker Capital Inc. will be a completely owned subsidiary of Better Collective. In this regard, Better Collective made the following statement regarding their expectations for what the future holds:
“[We expect to] significantly ramp up its media capabilities and expand its audiences across its sports media portfolio.”
In addition to this, it is evident that, with this recent acquisition by Better Collective, there is still a substantial appetite for sports betting media deals.
Despite the large shift that has occurred in recent years in the ever-evolving landscape of sports betting and iGaming, the purchase of Canada’s Playmaker Capital has the effect of confirming that there is still a growing desire for mergers and acquisitions in the world of sports media and betting.
This is especially the case if the entity that is being acquired brings with it properties that are particularly enviable:
Playmaker Capital checks that box fully, being the owner of a number of very successful and hugely popular sports media websites, as well as being very profitable – As of June 30, 2023, Playmaker Capital generated a total trailing twelve-month pro forma revenue of $78.6M CAD and aEBITDA of $20.9M CAD.
The Highlighted Synergies: Implications and Prospective Benefits of this Acquisition
Both parties that are included in this noteworthy deal will benefit from enhanced scale and greater levels of investments pertaining to products, technology and marketing.
Both Better Collective and Playmaker will benefit from considerable prospects with regards to the improvement of their respective portfolios. This is particularly the case for Playmaker Capital, whose sports media brands will benefit from the performance-based marketing that pertains to Better Collective. This refers specifically to customer acquisition.
A mutual benefit for both parties includes the enhancing of their products overall, as well as the overall geographic and demographic diversification and reach of each.
The closure of this acquisition has positive implications for both companies, giving rise to significantly increased opportunities for considerable operational synergies.
The opportunities for rationalization and monetization enhancements are also increased with the confirmation of this transaction.
With particular focus on Better Collective, this company’s acquisition of Playmaker Capital will enable them to grow their audience significantly across the Americas.
In addition to this, this transaction will enable Better Collective to secure a market leading position in South America. This is in direct reaction to their acquisition of the most popular sports media brands in the entire region.
Comments made in reaction to this noteworthy acquisition
Jordan Gnat, Director & CEO of Playmaker Capital
Jorgan Gnat, the Director and CEO of Playmaker Capital, made the following comment:
“Over the past 12 months I have been talking a lot about a transformational deal for Playmaker and its shareholders that will take this company to the next level. Today’s announcement does exactly that, and I could not be more excited for the Playmaker family to join the Better Collective family. Their success is undeniable and their vision to become the leading digital sports media group aligns with us exactly. The cultures of our companies are very similar and I see the integration and synergies to be incredibly accretive to shareholders.”
In an official statement, Better Collective described Playmaker Capital as follows:
“Playmaker Capital is a leading digital sports media group operating a strong portfolio of sports media brands across the Americas. Following the closing of the transaction, Playmaker Capital will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Better Collective. Once integrated, Better Collective expects to significantly ramp up its media capabilities and expand its audiences across its sports media portfolio.”
Jesper Søgaard, Co-founder & CEO of Better Collective
With regards to this recent acquisition, Jesper Søgaard, the Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer at Better Collective, remarked on the following:
“Acquiring Playmaker is in many ways transformational for Better Collective and will be an important milestone in our journey towards becoming the leading digital sports media group. Upon closing of the acquisition, we will be able to significantly grow our audience and reach a larger segment of generalist sports fans. For years, Playmaker has built incredibly strong sports media brands and excited sports fans across the Americas with high-quality sports content, cultivating a loyal and dedicated following. The skilled team behind Playmaker brings a unique set of media competencies that will boost our organization. Saying that I am excited to welcome the new team to the Better Collective group would be an understatement.”
What is Danish Sports Media Group Better Collective?
Better Collective is a betting analytics provider that is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is a leading digital sports media group that provides coverage for the top sports media brands and esports, both in a national and global context.
Better Collective states that its aim is to provide sports fans and enthusiasts with content that is both engaging and insightful, thus accomplishing their goal of fostering passionate communities all over the globe.
Included in Better Collective’s impressive portfolio are the following highly successful sites:
Prior to the definite agreement pertaining to the acquisition of Playmaker Capital, Better Collective had a long history of media partnerships. These were established with some of the leading sports media brands that are owned by Playmaker Capital.
In light of this, it is evident that Better Collective has already acquired valuable knowledge and insight regarding the quality of the brands belonging to Playmaker Capital.
What is Canada’s Digital Media Group Playmaker Capital Inc.?
Playmaker Capital Inc. is a leading digital sports media company based in Toronto, Canada. This firm has a strong portfolio consisting of a number of sports media brands that they operate across North and South America.
The company was founded in January 2021 by CEO Jordan Gnat and Relay Ventures, a Canadian venture capital firm.
The shares belonging to Playmaker Capital are listed on both of the following:
TSX Venture Exchange in Canada
OTCQX in the United States
During the years since its initial launch, Playmaker Capital has sought to both acquire and integrate a number of very popular sports media brands.
In this, they were highly successful. This was all accomplished through the dissemination of material that included authentic sports content, with the aim of generating a high level of engagement from sports fans and enthusiasts.
The firm’s goal also consisted in providing strong results to the advertising partners across the Americas that they had partnered with.
In this way, the acquisition of Playmaker Capital aligns perfectly well with the strategy that Better Collective has adopted:
Operating and having ownership of leading national sports media brands.
In addition to this, this deal has the effect of strengthening the position held by Better Collective, one that consists of them being perceived as a preferred partner for those businesses whose aim is to boost their brands in a sports context that is both relevant and deeply engaging.
In total, Playmaker Capital has accumulated over 200 million visitors per month, and it has amassed a social media following of over 180 million individuals across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and X (formerly known as Twitter).
In the third quarter financial report of 2023, it was reported that Playmaker Capital had accrued a trailing twelve-month pro forma revenue of $78.6M CAD and aEBITDA of $20.9M CAD.
This equates to an EV/EBITDA multiple of 11.7x.
In this regard, Better Collective has stated that it plans on decreasing this significantly: By 2026, the company expects to bring this down to a value below 5x.
The prominent sports media brands that Playmaker Capital Inc. operates
Futbol Sites is one of Playmaker Capital’s highest ranked websites. It is a digital sports media group located in South America that has successfully generated an audience consisting of over 180 million visitors on a monthly basis.
This website is a particular favorite for sports fans and enthusiasts, sporting extensive content on almost every single major sports market located in South America.
This includes content on online and video forms of media, as well as on podcasts and social media.
Among others, the media brands pertaining to Futbol Sites include the following:
Following the acquisition of Futbol Sites back in 2021, the CEO of Playmaker Capital Inc., Jordan Gnat, had made the following comment:
“We are so excited to have Futbol Sites as our first investment and for the entire team to join our family. This is a company that has been growing on all metrics year after year. This acquisition gives Playmaker scale of people, scale of audience, scale of advertisers, scale of betting partners and provides an infrastructure that we can continue to build on as we make further acquisitions — it’s truly amazing.”
Yardbarker is another hugely popular US sports and entertainment website.
On average, this website attracts more than 13 million visitors on a monthly basis.
In addition to this, Yardbarker publishes, on average, over 40,000 full-text articles every month.
This is accomplished with a combination of over 300 content syndication partner sites and the inclusion of an in-house editorial team.
Yardbarker releases a daily newsletter in an email format called The Morning Bark. In total, this has managed to reach more than 400,000 subscribers.
Jordan Gnat, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Playmaker Capital Inc., had made the following comment regarding the acquisition of Yardbarker:
“We are delighted to welcome Yardbarker to the Playmaker family. This is a U.S. platform acquisition for us that is not only transformational, but also immediately financially accretive to our shareholders. Ben, Jeff and Mark have built a great business with incredibly loyal fans. Playmaker will be able to leverage Yardbarker’s content of all the key North American sports within our current Futbol Sites’ assets and vice versa. This is how we will build our ecosystem. We will cross pollinate our various properties to provide all our fans globally with the best content on all sports.”
The Nation Network (TNN)
The Nation Network (TNN), including its subsidiary Daily Faceoff, was acquired by Playmaker Capital for a total of $15 million Canadian Dollars.
This purchase included an immediate cash payment of around $6.63M CAD.
It is a digital media group that is based in Edmonton, Canada, and consists of a portfolio of more than 10 digital properties whose main point of focus is the sport of Hockey.
Other than Daily Faceoff, these digital properties, among others, include the following:
With regards to this purchase, Jordan Gnat, the Director and CEO of Playmaker Capital Inc., has remarked on the following:
“We saw this as a mirror to the business that we have in Latin America. For us, the time to plant a flag in Canada was really important. Our role in Canada is going to be to deliver our fan base to sports betting operators.”
“The acquisition of TNN and DFO is further proof that Playmaker is continuing to execute against its plan to acquire and roll up valuable, profitable digital media assets that cover major sports in important markets. TNN is Playmaker’s first acquisition in our home market of Canada, giving Playmaker true audience reach from the top of Canada to the bottom of Argentina. This is particularly important in Canada as we look towards Q1 2022 when third party sports betting operators will be permitted to operate in Ontario.”
“The TNN acquisition helps diversify Playmaker’s revenue streams through a subscription-based premium content model and with a significant sportsbook partnership already in place. I am delighted to welcome Jay and Frank and the whole Nation team into the Playmaker family.”
More about the CEO’s of Better Collective and Playmaker Capital
Jordan Gnat, Director & CEO of Playmaker Capital Inc.
Jordan Gnat has occupied the role of Chief Executive Officer of Playmaker Capital Inc. since December of 2020.
In the last two and a half years, Gnat has overseen this Canadian company’s rapid increase in popularity.
Some of Gnat’s previous roles include the following:
Prior to joining Playmaker Capital, Gnat occupied the role of CCO of Fox Bet. This is an online and mobile sports betting brand that is partnered with Fox Sports.
Gnat was also the Group Senior Vice President of The Stars Group. This is a Canadian online gaming and gambling company that owns gaming brands such as PokerStars, Full Tilt, and BetStars.
Gnat commented on the following regarding the prominent role that is taken up by Playmaker Capital:
“Deepening our connection to sports fans in the US and Canada is key to our growth strategy, and I am pleased to report that engagement against our North American web, podcast, video, and newsletter products experienced significant year-over-year growth in Q1 2023. Efforts are underway to integrate our affiliate business, Wedge, with our scale of audience across the Americas. We see a strong organic revenue opportunity here and will continue to work to optimise our growing audience while delivering our fans the best local, relevant content that is available when, how and where they want it.”
Jesper Søgaard, Co-founder & CEO of Better Collective
Jesper Søgaard has occupied the role of Chief Executive Officer at Better Collective since 2004.
In addition to this noteworthy role, Søgaard currently holds the following positions:
Director at Symmetry Invest ApS
Director at Betternow Worldwide ApS since 2014
Director at MM Properties ApS since 2014
Chief Executive Officer and Director at J Søgaard Holding ApS
Member of the Executive Board at Better Holding 2012 ApS
Partner and Co-founder of Better Holding 2012 A/S
With regards to his prominent role at Better Collective, Jesper Søgaard made the following remarks:
“I have led the development of Better Collective as Co-founder and CEO since 2004. I have been in charge of our growth plan, acceleration strategy and ultimately stakeholder management. I have driven the expansions into new markets, latest with the addition of Action Network into Better Collective.”
“I am excited about the people we meet in the process. Meeting inspiring and ambitious founders is giving me great joy and being part of the early company-building is very exciting. Each founder story motivates me and brings us forward as a fund.”
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