XLMedia has completed the acquisition of Saturday Football Inc. for a total consideration of US$23.0 million cash (c.£16.8 million), plus US$1.0 million (c.£0.7 million) in long-term incentive shares.
The acquisition is the conversion of an existing agency partnership between XLMedia and Saturday Football Inc., established in December 2020, which brought about a close working relationship with management and generated a number of revenue opportunities.
The performance marketing agency will pay US$11.0 million upfront for the college football news publisher, plus an additional US$12.0 million – made over three equal payments on the first, second and third anniversaries of the deal.
In addition, the founders, who are remaining with the business, will receive US$1.0 million in long-term incentive shares of XLMedia. The acquisition will be funded from XLMedia’s existing cash reserves.
Founded in 2014, Saturday Football Inc. operates two leading college football media sites, saturdaydownsouth.com and saturdaytradition.com, which cover the popular Southeastern Conference and Big 10 college sports conferences. Combined, the sites generate an audience of approximately 10 million visits per month.
The acquisition, said XLMedia, accelerates its strategy to operate content rich websites across attractive growth geographies.
Key benefits for this deal include access to the sizeable US College Football marketplace, a highly complementary addition to XLMedia’s existing US portfolio, which already includes Sports Betting Dime and CBWG Sports – both acquired in the last 12 months.
XLMedia will also seek to leverage Saturday Football Inc.’s key brand sponsorships, in addition to benefiting from established social media, video and content production and programmatic AdTech capabilities.
Stuart Simms, Chief Executive Officer of XLMedia, commented: “We are delighted to be acquiring Saturday Football Inc., cementing an already extremely productive working relationship.
“Over the last twelve months we have got to know the business very well and have been hugely impressed with their team, their systems and most importantly their market reach.
“This transaction provides additional operation depth and reach to our sports footprint which we believe is fast becoming a significant growth driver for our business.
“With the forthcoming US College Football season about to commence, the timing of this transaction couldn’t be better with our growing US presence ideally positioned to further support the team at Saturday Football Inc.”
Ken Dorward, XLMedia Head of North America, added: “We are thrilled to be delivering on XLMedia’s strategic vision for American sports, and look forward to welcoming the Saturday Football Inc. team, who really complement our existing portfolio as we pursue this once in a generation US opportunity.”