Turner International invests in Copa90 owner

Turner International, the American media company that owns CNN, has acquired a minority stake in Bigballs Media, which specialises in digital media sports.

Aksel van der Wal: head of digital ventures and innovation (picture credit: Turner International)
Aksel van der Wal: head of digital ventures and innovation (picture credit: Turner International)

Bigballs Media, the owner of football platform Copa90, will use the investment to push international expansion and its data capabilities. It aims to "fully establish Copa90 as the definitive football youth media brand".

The acquisition means Turner and Bigballs Media will be able to make use of each others capabilities. Bigballs Media will create branded content for Turner as well as third parties, including sponsorship.

It adds to Turner's existing digital sports brand Bleacher Report, which covers sports news.

The deal was struck by Tuner’s Digital Ventures & Innovation Group, which was formed to search for such opportunities.

Turner's parent company Time Warner is in the process of being acquired by AT&T.

Aksel van der Wal, head of digital ventures and innovation, will take a place on Bigballs Media’s board of directors. Alex Vargas, chief operating officer at Bleacher Report, will become a board observer.

Tom Thirlwall, chief executive at BBM, said the deal means the company can expand its commercial teams in Europe and the US.

Van der Wal said: "We see really exciting opportunities to work with Bigballs Media in developing creative ways to engage new audiences, in particular expanding our growing touchpoints with millennials while also offering innovative new platforms for advertisers.

"It is exactly the kind of forward-looking partnership we hope to establish more of."

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