Infront Sports and Media, the Swiss-based sports and marketing company, has acquired 51% of Omnigon, the digital services company used by various sports leagues, teams and networks. The deal was announced Wednesday in Zug, Switzerland and the U.S.
Infront and Omnigon had announced a partnership in October.
Omnigon’s management will remain the same, and it will continue to operate as a stand-alone operation led by CEO Igor Ulis, with a staff of more than 250 in U.S. and Europe, in Kiev, St. Petersburg, and London. .
Omnigon helps sports and sports related companies develop online strategies, technical components and monetization efforts for digital properties including Web sites and apps. Its clients include PGA Tour, NASCAR, Fox Sports and the NBA’s Miami Heat. Digital monetization is an increasingly important part of the business, where technology aids the entertainment value of sports, which often use experts to spot digital opportunities and advise how to exploit them.
“We have to prepare [clients] so they’re not going to completely build something that they’re going to have to throw away,” said Dave Nugent, the chief commercial officer, in a MediaPost interview last year.
Omnigon’s pivotal point within Infront is added digital expertise. That meshes well with Infront Digital Solutions, which, like Omnigon, advises on digital strategy too, procures the needed technological and creative components and figures out how to deliver it.
Infront and Omnigon worked together on a new app for the German Football Association’s DFB Cup and Lega Serie A. Last year Omnigon designed the mobile app for Rugby World Cup, downloaded by millions.
That media and digital services end of the sports business is increasingly global. For example, as Deadline. com noted, Infront itself is now a unit of Dalian Wanda Group, based in China. And that company, in addition, just paid $3.5 billion to acquire Legendary Entertainment and $2.6 billion for AMC Entertainment, the number two movie theater chain in the U.S.