FanSided, a sports, entertainment and lifestyle network of more than 300 websites, has been acquired by Time Inc. and will be incorporated into Sports Illustrated Group portfolio.
FanSided has a collective audience of approximately 15 million unique visitors per
month that generates an average of 50 million page views per month.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
FanSided’s unique fan-focused editorial voice, popular mobile app and personalized digital newsletter are behind FanSided’s rapidly growing popularity among millennial sports and entertainment fans. FanSided’s community of 1,500+ contributors will deepen Sports Illustrated’s local sports coverage and add more weight to the brand’s new customization platform, which is set to launch later this year. Time Inc. also plans to further leverage FanSided’s entertainment and lifestyle coverage across its brand portfolio.
This acquisition builds on a two-year partnership between Time Inc. and FanSided that saw the network’s growing audience roll into the overall SI Digital footprint, providing the sales and marketing teams with yet another valuable product to offer clients. Founders Adam and Zach Best, along with partner Matt Blake, will join Time Inc. and oversee FanSided as a division of the Sports Illustrated Group, working closely with SI Group Publisher Brendan Ripp, Editor Paul Fichtenbaum and SVP, Digital Scott Havens.
“The FanSided business is an investment in a modern content strategy plus deeply engaged and passionate audiences,” said Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp. “The entrepreneurial and agile FanSided leadership team is a great addition to our growing Sports Illustrated Group portfolio.”
Since becoming an independent public company in 2014, Time Inc. has been extending its brands, content and audiences into new revenue streams through investment and acquisition. Time Inc. acquired Cozi, a technology company that leads the family productivity space, and UK Cycling Events (UKCE), the UK’s leading provider of premium cycling events. Time Inc. is an equity investor in 120 Sports, a groundbreaking OTT network created by multiple leagues and content companies; and a lead investor in Keaton Row, a go-to resource for busy women who want the luxury and convenience of personal shopping in an online environment. Building upon the diversity and authority of its trusted content, Time Inc. introduced MIMI (www.mimichatter.com), a constant stream of social chatter, beauty content and video, as well as The Snug (www.thesnug.com), a DIY social aggregation website targeting millennials.
The acquisition also aligns with SI’s expansion into men’s lifestyle categories, such as fitness, adventure sports and the global sneaker community. Over the past year the brand has launched nearly a dozen new editorial and digital productsa large reason for the brand’s selection to Advertising Age’s 2014 A-List and Adweek’s Best Sports Publication honors. Earlier this year at the NewFronts, the company also announced a new video initiative: SI Films, which will develop video programming for all platforms and mediums. This aggressive growth strategy has driven 30 percent of y-o-y growth in UVs to the SI Digital network which now reaches more than 24MM (comScore April ’15 vs. April ’14).