Endeavor China announced it is acquiring Mailman Group, a digital agency for sports brands and rights holders.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but reports in Chinese media have pegged the value of the deal at US$60 million.
Endeavor China, a subsidiary of global entertainment, sports and content company Endeavor, is funded by a group including Sequoia Capital China, Tencent and affiliates of FountainVest Partners.
Mailman Group and its subsidiary Seven League provide digital services for sports federations, leagues, teams and elite athletes. The group, formed in 2012, employs approximately 200 people across 50 global markets and boasts clients including NHL, FIFA, Under Armour, NBA and Chelsea FC. Its scope of work includes digital strategy, transformation, digital marketing, social media, production, digital partnerships, PR and ecommerce.
Mailman will become part of Endeavor’s full-service cultural marketing agency, 160over90, helping to enhance its expertise in advertising, experiential, communications and sponsorships, the company said. 160over90 has clients including AB InBev, Marriott International, HSBC and Visa.
Mailman's Seven League subsidiary will integrate into the media and events division of Endeavor subsidiary IMG, enhancing that unit's offerings across rights and distribution, sponsorship sales, client consultancy and broadcast production for federations and governing bodies, according to the company.
“Mailman and Seven League are exceptionally well-respected content engines with a proven track record building fan engagement,” Mark Shapiro, president of Endeavor, said in a release. “We share their commitment to helping the world’s best sports brands, leagues and teams build global digital media businesses, and know their expertise will be a tremendous value-add for our current and future clients.”
Andrew Collins, CEO of Mailman Group, said his company has spent a decade telling China stories, and now will tell the world’s.
“Our mission is to help rights holders build global digital media businesses," he said. "Joining Endeavor China is a dream next step. We have built a reputation of connecting fans with sports, and now that we are arms locked with 160over90 and IMG, we have an enormous platform to drive both the audiences, the brand equity and monetization for our clients.”
Endeavor China is quickly expanding its reach across sports and entertainment, Collins added. "With Mailman Group's capabilities in China, Asia, and now in Europe, we're able to deliver more value across our core regions, most notably expanding the China business," he said.
Endeavor China recently announced the appointment of Sum Huang, formerly co-founder and partner of XG Entertainment, as its CEO. Although his appointment is unrelated to the acquisition, Huang starts in his role today.