- Next League was founded in late 2021
- Infront had restructured digital operations ahead of sale
Sports technology consultancy firm Next League has acquired Infront X’s professional services and digital product business.
Infront X was formed in 2021 through the combination of the iX.co digital media and solutions business with Infront Lab’s sports tech research and development unit.
The ambition was to create an end-to-end supplier for the sports industry, designing, developing and maintaining custom digital platforms. The product business includes the Corebine content management system (CMS) and the Engage suite of fan engagement tools.
However, by early 2022, the Swiss-based agency took steps to restructure and streamline its business, separating Infront Lab from the rest of Infront X.
Under the terms of the agreement, Next League will take over all of Infront X’s client contracts and related staff, including those with the PGA Tour, Breeders Cup and FootballCo. The company will also support the digital platforms for Infront client projects through a service cooperation agreement. This covers Champions Hockey League (CHL), FIBA Digital, the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the International Skating Union (ISU).
Infront X’s chief financial officer Krishnan Ramachandran will assume the same role at Next League once the transaction is completed, while chief operating officer Joni Lockridge will remain in a transitional role until March. Executive chairman Joel Speier will stay with Infront as a consultant until the end of the year.
Infront says its digital business moving forward will operate under the Infront Lab brand, with the Infront X label integrated into its product offering, serving the wider group’s clients.
“The divestiture of this business is a step to further streamline and adjust Infront’s digital business,” said Philippe Blatter, Infront chief executive.
“Its future growth will be fuelled by building and exploiting our sports technology solutions and products provided by Infront Lab, the unified digital unit working with all Infront clients, and continuing its successful sports tech acquisitions.
“This is what we will focus on moving forward as a group and we believe our clients will benefit from the combination of the experienced team and innovative technologies of Infront Lab.
“At the same time, I would like to thank the entire team behind the Infront X professional services and digital product businesses for their contribution and achievements for Infront and wish them all the best for the future.”
The deal takes Next League chief executive David Nugent full circle. Nugent was at Omnigon, which was bought by Infront in 2016 and subsequently rebranded as iX.co. He founded Next League in late 2021 and now works with Nascar, the LPGA Tour and the XFL, among others, helping to develop their digital strategy.
“The addition of Infront X’s professional services and digital product businesses to Next League continues to build our depth of proven experience and expertise in delivering leading fan engagement and technology solutions,” said Nugent.
“The deal accelerates our roadmap in assisting our partners in navigating the complex and fast-moving digital landscape so they can invest in emerging digital spaces and solutions. We are excited to welcome our new colleagues to the Next League team and look forward to building upon the client relationships they’ve cultivated and the engagements they’ve delivered over the years.”