With the aim of becoming the dominant player in the DOOH sports, Access 360 Media has rebranded as Access Sports Media, added a 90-team Minor League Baseball Network to its roster of sports properties, and sold its Mallvision assets to AdSpace Networks.
Access Sports Media plans to focus entirely on its leadership position in live sports advertising. The moves reflect the company’s growing commitment to deliver custom marketing and advertising solutions in sports venues throughout the U.S..
“We’re not interested in being a #3 or #4 or even a distant #2,” says Dennis Roche, president, Access Sports Media. “I think today it’s more important to be deep in one vertical rather than wide in several. You’ve seen how Zoom Media is focusing on fitness and RMG Networks is focusing on travel. We want to be strongest in the sports vertical, the #1.
“So we decided to sell our mall assets and use the money to secure and grow sports. Our mall properties were solid, but in sports we have big footprint already and this where we want to be.”
Access’s mall network included 66 malls and 1,200 screens. Roche refused to divulge the dollars involved, but says, “It was a real sale. We’re using the money to grow.” (Dominic Porco, chairman and CEO, AdSpace Networks, was unavailable as we wrote this article but we hope to have a statement from AdSpace soon.)
Currently, Access Sports Media represents media properties in major sports venues across the country, and is partnered with 60 professional sports teams, and over 50 of the nation’s top NCAA football & basketball programs. In addition to baseball, basketball and football, it also has several National Hockey League team venues.
“There is a big opportunity to deliver national advertisers a highly desirable audience and engage fans at their point of passion,” says Corey Silverman, Access Sports’ executive vice-president of sales and marketing. “Focusing on sports will enable us to deliver a variety of custom immersive media solutions for our clients.”
“This is hot category, because fans are really engaged and advertisers really want to buy in and target them,” says Roche. “While we do the screens in concourses, if clients want to go bigger, we also will do the jumbotrons, fan give-aways, whatever they want.”
The initial phase of the new Minor League Baseball expansion will be focused on delivering digital media and in-venue sponsorship programs across more than 90 venues with a cumulative attendance in excess of 30 million. One team in the group is the Memphis Redbirds.
“The Memphis Redbirds are excited to be working with the Access team,” says Derek Goldfarb, assistant general manager of the Memphis Redbirds. “The deals we did for this season we hope are just the start of a long-term partnership. The opportunity to grow our sponsorship revenue through the inclusion of a national network can be a win for everyone.”
The expansion into Minor League Baseball comes on the heels of Access’s recently announced partnership with College Gametime Network.
“Over the next few months we will be announcing more new initiatives and partnerships,” says Silverman.
Access Sports currently reaches more than 110 million viewers annually through a national footprint of 200 sports properties and a digital network of over 20,000 screens across professional, minor league and college sports.
Asked about international plans, Roche says, “At this time, we are concentrating on the U.S. market. There are many more sports teams and locations that interest us.”