The partnership provides ACE with additional capital, production capabilities, and sales and marketing resources that the union says will create content opportunities for athletes, distribution networks and brand partners.
The news comes as ABC gets set to broadcast the opening round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.
Under the deal, Allied Sports, the sports unit of Allied Global Marketing, which connects advertisers and publishers with consumers through sports-related branded content, will serve as ACE Media’s exclusive sales and partner development agency. The pact follows a previous one between ACE Media and Allied Sports, Allied Global Marketing and its parent company, Belmont Capital.
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ACE Media’s activities span all phases of the content process, including creative development, athlete procurement, production services and distribution. Since its founding by the NFLPA in late 2015, ACE Media’s revenue has grown more than six-fold.
“A rising new media powerhouse, ACE Media is changing the sports-lifestyle content business by building it around the athletes,” Allied Global Marketing CEO Clint Kendall said. “More than ever, athletes are taking greater control of their brands, all while fan affinity – fueled by connectivity, social media and athlete-centric industries such as fantasy sports and video gaming – has shifted toward players and away from teams and leagues that have historically been the center of fan focus.”
Sean Barror, Managing Director of Allied Sports, added, “Brands have correspondingly begun to transfer their spending from traditional programs and platforms toward player-first opportunities that are more authentic, personal and valuable to consumers. With unrivaled access to players and proprietary events, and the ability to identify and develop untold stories, unknown passions and unexplored interests within the athlete community, ACE Media is leading this evolution and stands ready to mine untapped athlete-driven sports-lifestyle content opportunities for all media platforms.”
ACE Media CEO Scott Langerman said the outfit takes a “different approach to the sports content business by building it around the athletes and leveraging the content revolution that’s occurred over the past decade.”
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said of ACE: “There’s nothing else like it in sports media. The players are thrilled that Allied Global Marketing sees the potential of ACE, and is choosing to invest in both the business and in us as athletes,” said . “With Allied’s support, there is unlimited opportunity to develop a new range of content partnerships and programs which will continue to reveal our passions, interests and stories – we can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Despite being owned by NFL players, the scope of ACE Media’s content initiatives extends beyond football and incorporates athletes in all sports, both domestic and international. It has developed content projects featuring NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball players and is currently working closely with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association as the team prepares to defend its World Cup title this summer.
In just over three years in business, ACE Media says it has produced, created or facilitated more than 2,000 pieces of content featuring more than 1,500 athletes. It has teamed up with over 50 different brands and partners, including CBS, FOX, NBC Universal, Amazon, Facebook, Warner Bros., Nike, Fanatics, and EA Sports.
Langerman is a 25-year veteran of the sports and entertainment industries who has held senior positions at Comcast SportsNet and Turner Broadcasting, among others. Barror runs Allied Sports along with Managing Partner and Senior Advisor Mike Sheehan, formerly the head of Hill Holliday and CEO of Boston Globe Media Partners.
In addition to Allied Global Marketing and Allied Sports, Belmont Capital owns numerous other entities in the sports, entertainment and hospitality fields.
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