July 7, 2015 Last Updated 3:22 pm

Time Inc. announces series of acquisitions: three youth sports firms to form the foundation of Sports Illustrated Play

Publisher also acquires inVNT, NYC company that specializes in live media, digital and traditional advertising, creative services

Time Inc. today unveiled a series of acquisitions including three youth sports companies that Time says will “will form the foundation of Sports Illustrated Play.”

iScore-360Two of the acquired companies operate digital management tools: League Athletics and SportsSignup Time said the companies reach more than 8 million players, parents, coaches, administrators, and includes 8,500 leagues and 304,000 teams.

The third, Southern California-based iScore already has four apps inside the Apple App Store under the Time Inc. Play developer account.

“We believe Time Inc. can bring greater value to this growing segment and provide a more rewarding experience to its passionate audiences,” CEO Joe Ripp said. “This opportunity represents a natural extension of the trusted Sports Illustrated brand.”

George Linardos, senior vice president, developed the idea for Sports Illustrated Play, while the business will be run by former Electronic Arts executive Jeff Karp.

“Anyone who has a child participating in youth sports today will tell you that this experience can be enhanced,” Karp said. “Our vision is to work with partners and advocate participation that will facilitate a broader sense of community. We are committed to building on the strength and power of the Sports Illustrated brand and bring forth what is best about youth and amateur sports: participation, inclusion, fun, teamwork and, most of all, the pure love of the game.”

Time Inc. also announced today that it had acquired inVNT. The company describes itself more as a brand marketing company, though Time Inc.’s announcement is all about live media.

“inVNT collaborates with brands and organizations to launch products, build brand allegiance, strengthen relations, create demand and align organizations with target audiences worldwide. Clients include PepsiCo, Merck, Grant Thornton, General Motors, Subway, ESPN, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). inVNT’s offices are strategically located in New York, London, Washington, D.C., Detroit, San Francisco and Laguna Beach.”

Here is Time Inc.’s announcement for the inVNT acquisition:

NEW YORK, NY – July 7, 2015 — Time Inc. today announced the acquisition of inVNT, a seven-year-old experiential company that specializes in live media, digital and traditional media, brand environments and creative services.

“Live media is a great way to deliver targeted audiences to marketing partners. It provides passionate individuals an opportunity to share meaningful and memorable interactive brand experiences,” said Time Inc. Chairman and CEO Joe Ripp. “inVNT provides proven event expertise that will make our company a more attractive strategic partner for global advertisers. This acquisition complements our traditional and digital advertising assets, and I see enormous potential to grow this business.”

inVntThe two companies together currently present more than 575 events a year – in the consumer and business-to-business space. inVNT manages events such as the Cadillac V-Series Media Drives, Intel Developer Forum and PCNA (PepsiCo) Bottler event. Time Inc.’s Essence Festival just took place in New Orleans over the July fourth weekend and attracted approximately half a million attendees. Other Time Inc. events include the Time 100, the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit and the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.

ScottCullather-388Scott Cullather, founder and Global Managing Partner of inVNT, will continue to lead the company. He will report to Mark Ford, Time Inc.’s Executive Vice President, Global Advertising.

Ford commented: “inVNT is a creative powerhouse. They understand consumers, marketers and how to create stellar live media events. By combining inVNT’s resources and Time Inc.’s iconic brands, we will be able to leverage our existing live media offerings and create new media platforms for our marketing partners.”

“Our goal is to create deeper connections between advertising partners and consumers,” said Cullather. “We are excited about the tremendous opportunities our company will have working with the iconic Time Inc. brands and the people behind them.”

“Time Inc.’s resources, brands and franchises bring enormous opportunity to inVNT,” Cullather continued. “Getting in on the ground floor of Time Inc.’s live media investments accelerates our goal for more collaboration and more creativity as we aim to be an internationally recognized force in live media.”

inVNT will retain its name, continue to service existing clients and will remain in its current headquarters in the Puck Building in Soho. inVNT satellite offices are strategically located in London, Washington, D.C., Detroit, San Francisco and Laguna Beach, California.

Since becoming an independent public company in 2014, Time Inc. has been extending its brands, content and audiences into new revenue streams through investment and acquisition. Time Inc. recently acquired UK Cycling Events (UKCE), the UK’s leading provider of premium cycling events, and FanSided, a sports, entertainment and lifestyle network of more than 300 websites with a collective audience of approximately 15 million monthly unique visitors. Last year, Time Inc. acquired Cozi, a technology company that is the leader in digital and mobile technologies for the family organization and calendar space.

Time Inc. was represented in this transaction by Jordan, Edmiston Group. PALAZZO served as financial advisor to inVNT.

Source: Time Inc.

thhDRIVE-screenIf you think that would be enough for one day, Time Inc. also announced today the launch of theDRIVE, an automotive website that celebrates cars and automotive culture. Mike Guy, former Digital Director of Maxim and a longtime automotive journalist, has been appointed editor of the new website.

Eric Goeres will be General Manager. Goeres was previously General Manager at Road & Track as well as Esquire.

“TheDRIVE underscores Time Inc.’s commitment to the automotive space,” said Mark Ford, Executive Vice President, Time Inc. “Car enthusiasts are hungry for fresh auto content, and Time Inc. has a proven track record for creating compelling content. TheDrive will deliver our best storytelling to this audience while also developing powerful marketing solutions for our advertising partners.”

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