Turner International, parent company of cable TV networks including CNN, has made a minority equity investment in digital media sports company Bigballs Media, parent company of football video platform Copa90.
Turner has become the largest provider of funding for the Series B investment round and the main strategic investor of Bigballs Media.
The funding will be used for Bigballs Media’s planned international expansion, as well as increased content production and distribution. The brand also hopes to boost its data capabilities.
As part of the agreement, the two media brands have signed a commercial agreement that includes co-branded content production, the development of third party branded content and sponsorship opportunities, and content creation for Turner’s own channels.
Bigballs will collaborate closely with the wider Turner portfolio, including Esporte Interativo, Turner Sports and CNN.
It marks the first investment from Turner International’s digital ventures and innovation group, formed last month to find acquisition options for the media conglomerate’s international arm.
It also forms part of Turner International’s efforts to bolster its presence in digital sports, expanding on its existing commercial relationship with digital sports brand Bleacher Report.
Aksel van der Wal, head of digital ventures and innovation, will take a seat on BBM’s board of directors, and Alex Vargas, chief operating officer of Bleacher Report, becomes a board observer.
Van der Wal said: "Partnering with relevant brands is a core part of our strategy to compete and lead in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.
“We see really exciting opportunities to work with BBM in developing creative ways to engage new audiences, in particular expanding our growing touchpoints with millennials while also offering innovative new platforms for advertisers. It is exactly the kind of forward-looking partnership we hope to establish more of.”
Tom Thirlwall, chief executive of Bigballs Media, added: “Our ambition is to be the world’s most influential football media business by the time the 2018 World Cup kicks off and this investment and partnership with Turner is a decisive step towards making that a reality."