For the third time in 11 years, Yardbarker has a new parent company. Playmaker Capital, a Toronto-based digital sports media company, has acquired Yardbaker and its email newsletter “The Morning Bark” in a deal valued at as much as $24 million.
The deal is the latest in Playmaker’s attempt to get a foothold in the sports media landscape in the U.S. So far, the company “that lives at the intersection of sports, gambling, media, and technology” has been gobbling up soccer-related platforms under the Futbol Sites banner across North and South America. Futbol Sites includes over 10 sites and reaches over 50 million unique users monthly according to the company.
The acquisition of Yardbarker brings an additional four million unique users per month, according to the announcement. The long-running sports content platform publishes over 25,000 pieces of editorial content each month, as well as over 5,000 quizzes and slideshows that boost traffic numbers.
The deal also includes The Morning Bark, Yardbarker’s daily email newsletter, which reaches over 350,000 subscribers and helps drive traffic to the website.
“We are delighted to welcome Yardbarker to the Playmaker family. This is a U.S. platform acquisition for us that is not only transformational but also immediately financially accretive to our shareholders,” said Jordan Gnat, Playmaker Founder and CEO, in the announcement. “Ben, Jeff, and Mark have built a great business with incredibly loyal fans. Playmaker will be able to leverage Yardbarker’s content of all the key North American sports within our current Futbol Sites’ assets and vice versa. This is how we will build our ecosystem. We will cross-pollinate our various properties to provide all our fans globally with the best content on all sports.”
The purchase transaction, which was agreed to on Monday, July 26, includes a $10 million cash payment and issuance of $8 million in Playmaker common shares to Yardbarker. Additional shares will be issued when Yardbarker meets certain financial goals. Per the announcement, Yardbarker anticipates generating around $5 million in revenue in 2021.
Started in 2006 in the heyday of the sports blogosphere, Yardbarker was originally acquired by Fox Sports Interactive in 2010. When Fox lost interest, it was acquired by YB Media, LLC in 2017. YB was the seller in this transaction.
“We believe that Playmaker is in the process of building the next great collection of digital sports assets and we couldn’t be more excited to be joining at this early stage,” Yardbarker’s CEO Ben Maggin said. “We look forward to working with the Playmaker team to continue expanding Yardbarker’s reach and deliver the best possible service to our fans.”