Ross Levinsohn-Led Arena Group Bolsters Lineup With AMG Acquisition
Increasingly sophisticated digital technology and operational synergies have enabled the development and integration of quality media brands. In April 2022, The Arena Group further enhanced its impressive media brands portfolio by acquiring AMG/Parade Sports. Ross Levinsohn, The Arena Group’s chairman and CEO, will oversee AMG/Parade Sport’s integration into the parent company’s infrastructure. “Parade has been an iconic media brand for 80 years,” says Levinsohn. “I read it as a kid in my Sunday paper and always anticipated the annual Parade High School All-American Team. Today, through innovation and perseverance, AMG/Parade continues to deliver robust content experiences to millions of consumers every day across multiple platforms. Their content and partnerships with newspaper publishers around the country speaks to the trust and value in their brands.”
As a well-regarded multimedia content provider, AMG/Parade reaches over 250 million people every month. It currently operates lifestyle, food and wellness, celebrity, sports, and outdoor verticals. Digital, video, and print features provide consumers with diverse viewing experiences.
AMG/Parade will serve as the pillar for The Arena Group’s recently debuted lifestyle programming. In addition, AMG/Parade’s popular sports offerings will add new breadth and depth to The Arena Group’s sports vertical. Significance of The Arena Group’s AMG Acquisition Ross Levinsohn detailed the importance of the AMG/Parade acquisition. “We are thrilled to formally welcome AMG/Parade to The Arena Group family of media brands. Their storied brands and content garner incredible reach and will immediately create and anchor a new lifestyle arena for our business while reinforcing our status as a leading sports content creator,” he says. Levinsohn highlighted The Arena Group’s sophisticated technological capabilities and well-regarded editorial expertise. “Our highly efficient, data-driven, technology-powered media platform, coupled with editorial teams who create distinct content, present an exciting opportunity to grow these brands for the long term.” The Arena Group’s AMG/Parade Acquisition Logistics Under The Arena Group’s acquisition agreement, the firm purchased 100% of AMG/Parade’s issued and outstanding equities. The $16.3 million purchase price is net of cash acquired, and it includes AMG/Parade’s common equity. The Arena Group is funding the AMG/Parade purchase from an underwritten public offering that closed earlier in the quarter. This successful offering garnered $31.5 million in net proceeds. What The Arena Group Brings to the Table The Arena Group, formerly known as Maven Inc., is an acknowledged digital publishing industry leader. The company currently owns and operates 35 properties and serves more than 300 recognized brands. The Arena Group combines powerful technology, compelling journalism, data integration, and marketing expertise to provide consumers with highly relatable features on the things that enrich their lives. Readers embrace intriguing lifestyle essentials, gain insights into personal finance and investing, and root for their favorite sports teams. Brands such as Parade, TheStreet, and Sports Illustrated deliver uncompromising value while engaging and satisfying readers. “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to be part of The Arena Group,” says AMG/Parade CEO Chuck Allen. “The digital technology, data management, content, products, and services that Ross Levinsohn and his team bring to the marketplace will allow us to build on our tremendous digital growth and footprint and bring new products and value to our audience, advertisers, and newspaper partners.” In addition to operating these highly successful brands, The Arena Group functions as a sophisticated digital technology platform. The company provides over 300 media brands with virtual infrastructure, digital publishing, and creative monetization services. These advantages offer popular publications an excellent vehicle for enhancing their digital market presence. Ross Levinsohn’s The Arena Group Continues to Experience Impressive Growth The Arena Group’s AMG/Parade acquisition is only the latest component in the firm’s expansion strategy. Ross Levinsohn has carefully built the foundation and devoted the necessary resources to enable the company to further scale its business growth. Ross Levinsohn on The Arena Group’s 2021 Accomplishments Ross Levinsohn speaks candidly about The Arena Group’s 2021 achievements. “2021 was a watershed year for our company, our employees, partners, and stockholders, with record revenue growth, operational efficiency, a national listing of our common stock on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) American, and transformative acquisitions. “It was also a year of important investment, as we developed, streamlined, and validated our technology stack and our strategic approach, establishing a scalable platform for profitable growth. Due in large part to this strategy, we have clearly proven our ability to drive revenue and audience growth and expand revenue streams, leading to margin expansion across all our properties,” he explains. The Arena Group Continues Its Momentum in 2022 Not content to rest on its laurels, Levinsohn says The Arena Group is poised to move to the next level in 2022. “Our momentum in Q1 of 2022 has accelerated, with further growth across almost every sector, and we are well positioned to continue to expand with our new lifestyle vertical, anchored by the popular brands established by AMG/Parade (which is anticipated to close shortly). “Our highly efficient, data-driven, technology-powered media platform is now proven and operating at scale, with significant room for expansion both organically and inorganically. We continue to add highly relevant content to our platform, leveraging brand recognition, strong audience development capabilities, and a unified back-end system driving efficiency and margins to create value for our partners across our ecosystem.” Levinsohn Expects Continued Growth and Verticals Expansion Looking ahead, Ross Levinsohn says The Arena Group’s solid digital infrastructure provides an optimal foundation for additional profitable verticals. “We believe fiscal 2022 will be a year of continued growth. We have reached the tipping point with our technology. “The investments to build this platform are largely behind us, and incremental revenue will disproportionately fall to the bottom line. We have recruited an experienced, focused team, grown our capital base, and expect to show a positive adjusted EBITDA during 2022. “Our objective is to establish five verticals by the end of 2022. Upon closing the AMG/ Parade acquisition, we will have three verticals, with multiple opportunities for at least two more. This added scale opens the door to new revenue opportunities, such as the launch of our commerce initiatives, audio/podcast and video offerings, and plans to enter both the NFT [non-fungible token] and metaverse businesses in this year,” he concludes. Ross Levinsohn’s Digital Publishing Expertise Elevates The Arena Group Under Ross Levinsohn’s dynamic leadership, The Arena Group is well positioned for continued digital publishing industry prominence. His current role caps a notable digital media career that included leadership opportunities at Fox Interactive Media and Guggenheim Digital Media. Levinsohn also previously functioned as Yahoo’s interim CEO. Prior to serving in these executive roles, Ross Levinsohn excelled in positions at Tribune Publishing, HBO, and CBS Sportsline. These assignments integrated his proven media publishing experience with emerging digital technologies. Ross Levinsohn took the reins of Maven Inc. in August 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many companies were solely focused on economic survival, Levinsohn took strategic steps to grow his digital media company. He completed acquisitions and realignments while adding resources that enabled the company to assume a better competitive position. In September 2021, this accomplished former Sports Illustrated CEO rebranded Maven as The Arena Group. This highly significant action reflected Levinsohn’s revised business strategy. By all accounts, his bold big-picture move has already proven successful.
Impressive Unique Visitor Growth for The Arena Group and AMG/Parade Properties In the digital publishing industry, a brand’s ability to grow its audience is measured in the increase (or decrease) of monthly unique visitors to the brand’s digital platform. A “unique visitor” is a marketing analytics term for an individual who has visited a specific website at least once. Even if they visit the website multiple times during a predefined period, they are counted only once.
The Arena Group’s unique visitor numbers have shown some impressive growth. In February 2022, the company’s properties had over 111 million unique visitors, reports ComScore. For perspective, this positions The Arena Group in the U.S. rankings’ No. 34 spot. The Arena Group jumped 40 places compared to its February 2021 rankings.
Sports Vertical Growth
With Sports Illustrated as its flagship product, The Arena Group’s sports vertical achieved the No. 4 spot in the sports category. In February 2022, the Sports Illustrated Media Group more than tripled its year-over-year unique visitor numbers, reaching over 86 million digital users.
The Sports Illustrated brand has long been the gold standard in the sporting industry. This acclaimed media enterprise’s award-winning sports journalism and world-class photography have showcased countless sporting events across the globe.
Finance Vertical Growth TheStreet Finance Group, The Arena Group’s financial vertical, also enjoyed substantial growth in unique visitor numbers. In February 2022, TheStreet’s traffic grew to over 17 million monthly unique visitors. This figure represents a 249% increase compared to its October 2021 figure.
Rapidly increasing interest in alternative currencies spurred TheStreet to add comprehensive cryptocurrency resources to its digital platform. A dedicated cryptocurrency news channel and a newsletter about bitcoin’s increasing Wall Street acceptance are two brand highlights.
AMG/Parade Growth Since 2018, Parade.com’s audience has expanded by 584.17%. For perspective, the brand increased its lifestyle-focused viewership during 44 of the past 48 months. In 2021, Parade.com saw a 74% year-over-year increase in unique visitors. In January 2022, the brand achieved a record high of 16.4 million unique visitors.
The Arena Group Continues To Scale Its Growth As The Arena Group continues to implement its growth strategy, Chairman and CEO Ross Levinsohn is evaluating several new vertical opportunities. His plans to add video and audio/podcast elements stem from recognizing these increasingly popular digital offerings.
The Arena Group’s NFT and metaverse business development plans demonstrate Levinsohn’s singular ability to recognize emerging market trends. His bold ideas, along with his creative vision and extensive resource networks, position The Arena Group for continued success.