Access 360 Media Announces Arena Deal

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

As we announced first back on April 8, Access 360 Media finally got around to formally announcing its acquisition of Arena Media Networks yesterday, but, interestingly, the press release had been massaged so much that the facts (Arena’s Feb. 8 Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing for example) and purchase figures involved were conveniently ignored – when the facts are out in the open, as they were when we announced it, we don’t see it as a smart PR move to NOT come clean at the time, Ed.

With the acquisition, Art Williams, CEO and co-founder of Arena Media Networks, joins Access 360 as president and COO

The two New York-based companies combined have networks of nearly 20,000 screens in approximately 100 locations, with the potential to reach more than 54 million viewers each month in 33 major DMAs across the U.S. (including all top 25 DMAs).

With the acquisition of Arena Media Networks, national sports and entertainment media company across sporting and concert venues, Access 360 Media, which already was claiming position as the nation’s largest out-of-home media network for shoppers, has agreed to pay off Arena Media Network’s bankruptcy loan of $800,000, as well as an additional $3.6 million to $5.2 million in debt, $100,000 to Arena’s creditors and $50,000 to close out its bankruptcy estate – thanks to AdAge MediaWorks for outing those figures.

This is the latest in a series of mergers and acquisitions that industry pundits have been forecasting. (See Bill Gerba’s recently compiled list of M/As and closures.)

Obviously, this merger makes it easier for agency planners and buyers to spread their advertising client’s messages across both the sports/entertainment and shopping venues in one fell swoop.

Access 360 Media says that it will create a seamless transition for AMN’s advertisers, sports teams and other partners by continuing to distribute across the entire network of sports and entertainment venues, while offering them the additional benefits of Access 360 Media’s full out-of-home network. (Last fall, Access 360 made an exclusive partnership with Simon Malls to program screens in shopping malls across the top 20 DMAs.)

“By addressing the fragmentation of the industry, the combination of two established leaders in out-of-home is addressing a pain point for the advertising community and creating even more incentive for advertisers to buy digital out-of-home,” says Lon Otremba, CEO, Access 360 Media, in the formal press statement. “We’re dedicated to this industry and excited to be expanding our core business; we will certainly continue to increase our footprint to offer advertisers further scale.”

Arena Media Networks’ will retain all employees, thus doubling the sales team of the combined companies, and the two companies will combine into one work space.

“We see this as a huge benefit to our advertising partners, sports team and venue partners, as well as our employees,” said Williams in the formal release. “The combination of assets and inventory of two industry leaders and innovators will provide great benefit to advertisers seeking to engage passionate and receptive consumers across entertainment, sports and shopping destinations.”

Williams told AdAge MediaWorks that AMN needed to merge with a partner with a similar audience in terms of size and demographics to attract more advertiser interest.

A representative cross-section of Arena Media Networks’ venues include: Citi Field, United Center, Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium.

One Response to “Access 360 Media Announces Arena Deal”

  1. George W. Says:

    doesn’t make sense…I have heard that they aren’t selling any advertising for Simon/OnSpot…where did they get the dough????? checked their website and there isn’t even a press release on the site or any new clients…something fishy with this deal.

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