Playmaker Capital Inc. (TSX-V: PMKR) (“Playmaker”) is pleased to announce today that it has acquired the California-based sports and entertainment digital media business, YB Media LLC (d.b.a. Yardbarker) (“Yardbarker”). With its comprehensive North American sports and entertainment focus and highly engaged fan base, Yardbarker represents an integral pillar of Playmaker’s growth ambitions and a strong platform from which it will continue to expand its U.S. presence and build its global sports media ecosystem.
Yardbarker is a premier U.S. sports and entertainment media platform, attracting over four million unique users per month and generating more than nine million total sessions across its primarily NFL, NBA, MLB, College Sports, and NHL content offerings. The company’s 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 a combination of 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 unique content mix allows Yardbarker 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 in excess of 25%. The all-in-one email product features a Top 10 rundown of the most important stories of the day and a customizable newsfeed that allows users to keep track of their favourite sports, schools and teams. A significant driver of traffic to the website, The Morning Bark serves as a low-cost, repeatable, first-party user acquisition tool.
“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,” Yardbarker’s CEO Ben Maggin said. “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 Ben Maggin, bring deep experience and knowledge of the digital sports media arena to the Playmaker senior leadership team.
“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,” commented Jordan Gnat, Playmaker Founder and CEO. “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.”
Pursuant to the terms of a letter of intent dated June 7, 2021, and a purchase agreement dated July 26, 2021, Playmaker acquired 100% of Yardbarker for aggregate consideration of up to US$24 million. The purchase price consideration consisted of a payment of US$10 million in cash and the issuance of US$8 million of Playmaker common shares (the “Initial Shares”) on closing, an additional US$2 million of Playmaker common shares (the “Contingent Shares”) to be issued to the sellers upon Yardbarker achieving a minimum EBITDA of US$1.5 million within the 12-month period following closing and up to US$2 million, payable to the sellers based on Yardbarker’s performance toward an EBITDA target of US$2.5 million in each of the two years following closing. The Initial Shares were priced at the equivalent of CAD$0.55 per share. The Contingent Shares will be priced at the greater of CAD$0.60 per share or the trailing 30 day average, volume adjusted, share price of the common shares of Playmaker prior to such issuance.
For the 2021 calendar year, Yardbarker is anticipated to generate revenue of approximately US$5 million.
The acquisition of Yardbarker by Playmaker is a non-arms-length transaction and there is no finder’s fee to be distributed. Playmaker will not be assuming any long-term debt in connection with the transaction.
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