Zoom Media & Marketing Buys ClubCom

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

New York-based Zoom Media & Marketing has vaulted into the ranks of the big time digital owners with the purchase of ClubCom, from Amer Sports Co., the world’s largest sports equipment company, with internationally recognized brands Wilson, Atomic, Suunto, Precor, Salomon and ArcTeryx. The deal was negotiated through Precor, Seattle-based subsidiary of Amer Sports which provides fitness equipment with digital screens for Clubcom.

With the buy, Zoom adds 25,000 digital screens, found mainly in 1,600 fitness clubs and bowling alleys, to its 1,200 existing digital screens and its 55,000 static screens. Excluding the retail POP sector such as Wal-Mart, Zoom Media joins National CineMedia and Screenvision in the ranks of the top three digital screen owners worldwide.

“This will allow us to extend our footprint,” says François de Gaspé Beaubien, Zoom Media chairman and majority owner, who has been negotiating the deal over the past eight months. “We’ll also be bringing ClubCom into Canada. And this is just the beginning. We expect to make additional acquisitions in the future, will be putting up many more screens, and expanding in both the fitness club and bowling alley sectors.”

Pittsburg-based ClubCom is the leading provider of private media entertainment networks for the fitness industry, and is No. 1 in fitness clubs in the U.S., U.K., and Australia and coming up strongly in Germany and Japan. Each network integrates propriety broadcast technologies with one of the world’s largest music video libraries and an award winning library of health club promotions.

It also offers award-winning video production services that utilize the visual and audio power of digital video to deliver entertainment and advertising messages. Its production studios are equipped with the latest digital audio and video production equipment.

ClubCom includes 42” and other wall-mounted digital screens, and screens built within the exercise equipment itself. Precor and Zoom Media have made an agreement whereby Precor would continue to provide the fitness equipment with their built-in digital screens.

The addition of ClubCom’s network brings Zoom’s staff 180 from to 225. Zoom’s staff will sell national, regional and local advertising on the ClubCom screens that also carry information geared to fitness club members as well as entertainment programming.

The addition also means that Zoom now has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Pittsburg, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Quebec City.

While Zoom Media is a privately-owned company and will not devulge the price paid for the deal, de Gaspé Beaubien says, “We told our staff awhile ago that we intend to spend $50 million for acquisitions over the next three years. ClubCom didn’t cost $50 million, but I can see that in the three years, we’ll be exceeding that forecast amount.”

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