News Limited-backed SportingPulse acquires BellvueIT
Community sporting network SportingPulse, which is now majority-owned by News Limited, has acquired content management system BellvueIT.
Founded in 2000, SportingPulse helps sporting organisations manage competitions, publish results on websites, run events, communicate with their communities and raise revenue.
Led by founder and chief executive Nick Mayfield, SportingPulse has created an online network of more than three million visitors per month.
In February 2009, News Limited purchased a minority share of the company. It has since increased its share to 51%, although SportingPulse continues to operate separately.
Now SportingPulse has acquired BellvueIT – an online membership and content management system for sporting clubs and bodies – for an undisclosed sum.
BellevueIT, or BViT, was founded around the same time as Sporting Pulse.
Mayfield told StartupSmart the deal is structured as a “100% share transfer from day one”, with the BellvueIT founders to remain on board and receive incentives as part of the deal.
“It’s a business that has been a competitor of ours for a long time,” Mayfield says.
“SportingPulse’s current strengths lie in the winter months when our local sporting portals receive over three million visits from local sporting participants searching for information and advice regarding their sporting season.”
“The addition of BellvueIT’s client base extends our reach through the summer months, providing us a strong year-round proposition for our customers – participants and advertisers.”
SportingPulse services some of Australia’s largest sporting organisations including the Australian Football League, Football Federation Australia and Basketball Australia.
The acquisition of BViT gives the company’s clients – including Yachting Australia, Baseball Australia and Gymnastics Australia – access to the SportingPulse suite of service features.
According to BViT founder and chief executive Paul Pascoe, the acquisition is a “great opportunity” for the BViT team, which will move across to SportingPulse.
“The synergies between the companies give me confidence about the future of community sport in Australia and New Zealand,” Pascoe said in a statement.
“I am excited about being able to tap into the much larger SportingPulse and News Limited resource base to offer new and exciting opportunities to our sports.”
Mayfield says SportingPulse will consider further acquisitions as part of its growth strategy, but has plenty of other plans in the mix as well.
“We’re a strong physical business so if opportunities come up we will certainly look seriously at them, and obviously News’ backing helps that,” Mayfield says.
“As a fast growth-oriented technology company, we need to ramp up from a product point of view, so improving our personalisation options, etc.”
“More and more, live access to data and results is a big focus for us, especially with mobile, so we’ll be doing more and more of that, in addition to social and video.”
Mayfield says SportingPulse is keen to engage with its user base on a more social basis, in addition to growing its commercial model.
“Fifty percent of all profits go back to sport. Igniting motivation at all levels of sport is a really important thing,” he says.
“We’ll be making a significant investment, with a very strong headcount increase in the next 12 months. We have 45 staff. In the next 12 months, we’re looking to increase that by about 30%.”