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Maven Purchases The Spun To Pair With Sports Illustrated

Maven has raised over $40 million in capital since they hired a new CEO last fall.

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Courtesy: The Spun

Maven is continuing its growth in the digital sports media space. The Sports Illustrated publisher has reached a deal to buy “The Spun,” according to Forbes. The New Jersey-based sports news website is the latest addition to Maven’s arsenal of online brands.

The plan is for “The Spun” to continue operating as normal while eventually being integrated into Sports Illustrated’s online portfolio.

“They’re a really dynamic, independent sports company, and they’ve grown mightily over the last seven years or so,” Maven CEO Ross Levinsohn told Forbes. “A really smart, young, aggressive team, with really terrific leadership, and we couldn’t be more excited. Their numbers are terrific, and it’s a great complement to Sports Illustrated for us.”

Levinsohn and Maven have spent the majority of their time raising $40 million in capital since he was installed as CEO last fall. Now they are ready to spend, with “The Spun” acting as their first target.

“We have some pretty big ambitions,” Levinsohn said. “And this is sort of our first at-bat at growth since I took over the company about nine months ago.”

“The Spun” is retaining their 11-employee team, along with a new role for co-founder Matt Lombardi as Vice President/General Manager of Growth for Sports at Maven. Lombardi started the site in 2012 and has grown it into a prominent home for the intersection of sports and social media.

“We really look for assets that can fit into and expand an existing vertical for us, or start a new one,” Levinsohn said. “In ‘The Spun’ we saw something that would be additive and incremental to our sports vertical, which is anchored by the halo brand of Sports Illustrated. It’s the most trusted brand name in sports, it’s revered, it’s got an incredible history, and its audience is amazingly loyal — with still north of 1.7 million paying print subscribers today.”

Maven asserted themselves as a serious player in the industry when they acquired Sports Illustrated. Now they are carrying that momentum onto another step in the growth ladder.

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Sports Online

Sports Media Supports Fantasy Football Waffle House Bet Loser

“Sports media pros from different companies and different platforms weighed in to marvel at the challenge and Sanderlin’s endurance.”

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Lee Sanderlin/Twitter

There’s been a long-standing theory that everyday there is a main character on Twitter. On Thursday, that main character was a man named Lee Sanderlin. 

Sanderlin is a reporter covering politics for the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi. All Twitter cares about though is that he is very bad at fantasy football. His punishment was to spend 24 hours in a Waffle House. 

For every waffle that Sanderlin consumed, his sentence was was cut by an hour. That sounds easy to those that haven’t spent time in the South. Waffle House waffles are each the size of a dinner plate. It would be hard to believe he would be able to cut a significant number of hours off his sentence. 

Waffle House employees didn’t have faith in Lee Sanderlin. 

The internet was very different. Sports media pros from different companies and different platforms weighed in to marvel at the challenge and Sanderlin’s endurance.

Lee Sanderlin noted that he stacked up episodes of his favorite college football podcast, Shutdown Fullcast, in order to kill some time. 

Hosts Spencer Hall and Ryan Nanni reached out to show their support. 

Sanderlin likely had a night he will never forget. He certainly gained some fans and followers. It sounds like he had some good conversations too. 

After 15 hours, 9 waffles, a few visits from friends, too many bad TouchTunes selections, a little vomit and a lot of stomach pain, Lee Sanderlin completed his mission and was free to leave Waffle House. The radio voice of fantasy football players everywhere immediately celebrated.

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No Deal For The Athletic, New York Times

Prior to talks of merging with the New York Times, The Athletic also was exploring a merger with Axios but that deal also fell through a little over a month ago.

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The New York Times and The Athletic will no longer be merging as Sahil Patel of “The Information” reported that the two parties have ended discussions regarding the paper’s take over of the sports megasite.

According to the report, there were a few different reasons the deal fell apart. Patel notes that the two parties couldn’t agree on a price and discussions revolved around how employees of The Athletic would be compensated for the equity they hold in the company.

Prior to talks of merging with the New York Times, The Athletic also was exploring a merger with Axios but that deal also fell through a little over a month ago.

BSM recently reported, “The Athletic has over a million paid subscribers signed up for their $7.99 a month content offerings, but their financials are a bit of a mystery. Although a source disclosed to The Wall Street Journal that The Athletic generated $80 million in revenue last year. According to PitchBook, the company’s valuation stood at $475 million during its most recent funding round in January 2020.”

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Sports Illustrated Launches SI Tix Secondary Market Site

Sports Illustrated partnered with Venmo and PayPal on the project.

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Courtesy: Business Wire

Stadiums are filling up all over the country, and Sports Illustrated is getting into the game. The company announced on Wednesday that they are jumping into the event tickets space with SI Tix.

SI partnered with Venmo and their parent company PayPal to craft their very own ticketing site and app. Buyers can visit sitickets.com or download the app to start browsing over 100,000 concerts, theatre, and sporting events across the world. The website and app are already up and running.

Even better than the offerings are the fee policies. A flat rate of $10 is universal on ticket purchases, so no hidden “handling” fees for a double-take at checkout. They also guarantee a 100% refund for any canceled event.

“With live events poised to make a triumphant return, our goal for SI Tix is to disrupt the ticketing industry in a major way with a platform created specifically for fans,” said Authentic Brands Group (SI parent company) COO Corey Salter. “After an unprecedented year that rocked the sports and entertainment worlds to the core, we are thrilled to be the first media company ever to launch a ticketing platform and are excited to be the first service to offer a $10 flat fee.”

One wrinkle in the $10 fee is that it’s only available to Venmo users; all other purchase platforms will require a processing fee. In the past two years, Venmo has seen significant growth and was vital to many businesses during the pandemic.

“More than 70 million customers use Venmo to pay friends, family, and businesses in their everyday lives,” said SVP and GM of Venmo Darrell Esch. “With the launch of SI Tix, we’re excited to give Venmo customers access to a new marketplace as the first payment provider offered on the ticketing platform. In addition to the ability to check out quickly and seamlessly on the mobile and web app, SI Tix will be one of the first merchants to offer Venmo for checkout on desktop.”

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