Global soccer media company Copa90 has acquired a ten per cent investment from Infront Sports, the marketing group controlled by Dalian Wanda.
According to the Financial Times, the investment aims to fund international expansion as the soccer content publisher prepares for the Fifa World Cup in Russia, as well as to facilitate further investment in data analysis.
The deal values Copa90 at UK£70 million following a succession of investments from Time Warner’s Turner, Liberty Global and Major League Soccer (MLS), all of which are now major shareholders.
Copa90 will send 300 correspondents to the this summer’s World Cup, while growing its presence in Latin America and China.
The UK-based company has established a significant presence on YouTube, producing a range of content including its Derby Days documentary series, which explores local fan rivalries in cities around the world. It has also looked at the growing popularity of soccer in US cities such as Atlanta.
Tom Thirlwall, chief executive of Copa90, said: “While broadcast television has the 90 minutes of each game wrapped up what we can do is bring the culture and atmosphere around everything outside of the 90 minutes to our audience in an interesting and innovative way.
“Two years ago it was all about the big social platforms,” Thirwall continued. “Today we’re seeing a lot of interest in our content from mobile players in the US like AT&T and Verizon and also from ‘over the top’ streaming players like Amazon and Netflix.”