Playmaker acquires Yardbarker to boost US market presence

Playmaker Capital Inc has announced it has acquired 100% of California-based sports and entertainment digital media business, YB Media LLC (Yardbarker) in a deal worth up to $24m, significantly increasing its US market presence.

With its comprehensive North American sports and entertainment focus and engaged fan base, Yardbarker is well positioned to support Playmaker’s growth ambitions. Its platform immediately adds more than four million unique monthly users and over 350,000 daily newsletter subscribers to the Playmaker audience ecosystem.

The US sports and entertainment media platform also generates more than nine million total sessions across its primarily NFL, NBA, MLB, College Sports, and NHL content offerings. Its core editorial focus is to create and surface timely, engaging, and relevant news and analysis to its users in a fun and efficient format.

The platform publishes over 25,000 full-text articles per month through its in-house editorial team and 125+ content syndication partner sites, while also augmenting traditional coverage with a collection of over 5,000 sports and entertainment quizzes and slideshows. The content mix allows it to offer a differentiated user experience and generate high engagement and interaction rates among its audiences.

The Morning Bark, Yardbarker’s daily email newsletter, reaches more than 350,000 subscribers with open rates of over 25%. It features a Top 10 rundown of the most important stories of the day and a customizable news feed that allows users to keep track of their favorite sports, schools, and teams. It acts as a significant driver of traffic to the website and serves as a low-cost, repeatable, first-party user acquisition tool.

Yardbarker CEO Ben Maggin commented: “We believe that Playmaker is in the process of building the next great collection of digital sports assets and we couldn’t be more excited to be joining at this early stage. We look forward to working with the Playmaker team to continue expanding Yardbarker’s reach and deliver the best possible service to our fans.”

Yardbarker was founded in 2006 and its three current owners, Jeff Kloster, Mark Johns, and Maggin, add digital sports media experience and knowledge to the Playmaker senior leadership team.

Jordan Gnat, Playmaker Founder and CEO, added: “We are delighted to welcome Yardbarker to the Playmaker family. This is a US 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 purchase price consideration consisted of a payment of $10m in cash and the issuance of $8m of Playmaker common shares on closing, an additional $2m of Playmaker common shares to be issued to the sellers upon Yardbarker achieving a minimum EBITDA of $1.5m within the 12-month period following closing and up to $2m, payable to the sellers based on Yardbarker’s performance toward an EBITDA target of $2.5m in each of the two years following closing.

Yardbarker is anticipated to generate revenue of approximately US$5m for the 2021 calendar year.