Velo News, Inside Tri sold to Competitor Group
Written by: Dan Empfield
Date: Mon Feb 11 2008
This acquisition solves Triathlete Magazine's problem of having Inside Triathlon compete head-to-head for ad dollars, and clears the deck for CGI's Senior VP of print publications, John Duke, to sell specialty annuals (such as Road to Kona and Tour de France annuals) without its historic rival also bidding. ICI's CEO, Felix Magowan, underscored this by referencing CGI's president, Peter Englehart, and his "solid relationship with people at Amaury Sport Organization (the parent company of the Tour de France)."
Englehart assured that the current acquisition will not require a relocation. "We are not interested in tampering with what has made the company successful," Englehart told ICI employees. "We want to build on what you've already accomplished. Shifting the base of operations of a well-established company, with a lot of talent would not make sense."
An important part of Falconhead Capital's strategy, according to comments by its chairman and CEO David Moross to Slowtwitch last month, is to offer bundled marketing solutions to flagship advertising partners. The requirement for this is CGI's ownership of the participation experience, which it's well on the way to owning based on its deal with Elite Racing (Rock and Roll Marathons, Country Music Marathon, the Carlsbad 5000), as well as the Muddy Buddy Series it acquired through its deal with Competitor Magazine. Also, CGI must own the virtual and the print experience, and today's announcement helps exhibit its resolve to do that.
That established, CGI now owns most of the relevant cycling and triathon media but none of those sports' events, and it owns running's events but not its media. Are there more acquisitions to come? Falconhead Capital declined to comment on any future acquisitions.
Today's deal comes as a bit of a surprise, since negotiations were declared dead by Magowan eight weeks ago. Obviously not. What brought about the change of heart? "It really started in the spring of last year," Magowan said in a prepared statement. "We were surprised, for example, when cricInfo.com was sold to ESPN for $100 million." Magowan said that the recent sales of cyclingnews.com and cycling.tv soon also triggered interest in his company.
The pace and extent of these acquisitions appears to have swayed Magowan, who frankly admitted that his organization was, "too undercapitalized to take advantage of all the growth opportunities available to us on the web, in print, books, events and mail order."
Competitor Group, Inc. (CGI), that growing aggregation of premier endurance brands powered by private equity, will temporarily shrink by one brand. 10.14.08
John Duke, the man who brought Triathlete magazine from the near-dead to a dominating position in the marketplace, is out after 14 years. Former Runners World exec Andy Hersam is now in charge of Competitor Group's magazines, including IT and Triathlete. 1.07.10
Q&A with Andy Hersam The former Runners World Media Group Publisher is taking the reins of the Competitor Group print titles – including Triathlete and Inside Triathlon – from long term publisher John Duke. 1.07.10
Triathletes in the USA will soon be able to choose from 3 different printed triathlon magazines. H3 Publications has hired Jay Prasuhn and John Segesta and will launch the new TRI magazine in late April 1.11.10
By now many of you have heard of a new organization, announced Monday, called Triathlon America. There's always a backstory. A group of us met at the Harvard Club in New York City last December and... 10.19.10
WTC and Competitor Group are back in the acquisition mode, and if the first six weeks of 2012 is a sing of things to come, marquis events of all distances, all around the world, may be acquisition targets. 2.23.12
The sale of Triathlete and Competitor Magazines, as well as Elite Racing, owner of many of North America's largest footraces, appears imminent. Both magazines are part of a blockbuster deal that places top caliber endurance events and media under the same ownership. 12.19.07
A deal's danger of "blowing up" increases exponentially as the parties prepare to sign. Nevertheless, we handicap and analyze. 12.20.07