Celeritas Buys Big Stake In ANC Sports
A fledgling investment firm has taken a majority stake in ANC Sports Enterprises, the 12-year-old company that provides a slew of high-visibility ad options in sports venues. Celeritas Management will now oversee ANC, although it will continue to be run day-to-day by current CEO Jerome Cifarelli.
Among ANC's offerings are the decades-old rotating signs behind the plate at baseball parks that TV cameras can't avoid. But newer ones include the 2-year-old billboards -- also impossible for cameras to miss -- hung just behind the backboards in basketball arenas; State Farm was the debut advertiser in 40 venues.
The company provides signage and services in over 200 venues, including Yankee Stadium in New York and Verizon Center in Washington.
ANC has also launched multiple digital signage platforms in stadiums. For example, the collection of massive HD screens at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium -- helping game attendees check out the live action and replays -- are powered by ANC technology.
Celeritas is backed by Palladium Equity Partners, a private-equity firm with $1 billion of investments that stretch from Wise potato chips to direct-response media buyer Cannella Response Television.
Terms of the ANC transaction were not disclosed, but CEO Cifarelli will retain a minority stake in the company that he co-founded in 1997. Sports marketing veteran Del Wilber, who worked at the defunct ProServ and once ran the Ice Capades, heads Celeritas.
Celeritas -- formed last year -- and Palladium both have an interest in making investments in properties that target the growing U.S. Hispanic population. Celeritas' first acquisition was the Spanish Béisbol Network, which has the Spanish-language radio rights to the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels, and two other teams.