SBC News Magnus Linder, Better Collective: Taking big steps in diversification and expansion

Magnus Linder, Better Collective: Taking big steps in diversification and expansion

Magnus Linder, Director of Northwest Europe for Better Collective A/S, opens up on the latest developments for the company, including acquisitions, strategy and its vision to become a preferred partner and industry leader.

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SBC: Last summer you acquired four Swedish websites from the Everysport Group: SvenskaFans.com, Hockeysverige.se, FotbollDirekt.se and Innebandymagazinet.se. Circa six months on from that deal, what have you learned from the addition of those brands and what have they brought to the Better Collective stable? 

Magnus Linder (Better Collective): The acquisition has diversified and broadened our Swedish sports media portfolio in a similar way as we have expanded our presence in several other European markets such as Denmark and the Netherlands. This allows us to activate partners and brands in a multifaceted way based on their objectives and needs, whether it’s pure brand building or more tactical/transactional marketing. Adding these sports media brands to our portfolio is a significant step on our long-term journey and aligns perfectly with our strategy to own and operate leading national sports media brands with a loyal audience in local markets.  

SBC: How easy/difficult was it to make them a suitable fit within the Better Collective portfolio  and what challenges did you face throughout that process?

ML: The new sport media represent a very good fit with our existing Swedish portfolio as they are supplementary to Rekat & Klart and the other sports betting media platforms that we own and operate in Sweden. With the acquisition, we have expanded our portfolio in terms of inventory and audience size as well as strengthened our value proposition towards endemic and non-endemic partners.

Overall, it has been a smooth integration process so far. A team of 12 people, editorial as well as commercial staff, have joined our Swedish operation and are now fully onboarded as Better Collective employees. We are looking to migrate the websites to our native tech stack later this year and we are currently working on a number of enhancements that will improve the user experience and make the editorial content on our media even more appealing to sports fans across Sweden. We have recently signed a deal with the ex-hockey pro Christian “Fimpen” Eklund who will join us as an ambassador and content provider, and there is more in the pipeline.

SBC: How does this align with your strategy and vision to cement Better Collective’s position as one of the leading digital sports media groups and position the company as a preferred partner for businesses across industries to activate their brands in relevant sports context?

ML: To realise our vision of becoming the leading digital sports media group we need strong sports media brands with a loyal audience. This enables us to activate brands, drive engagement and deliver reach for our partners in a highly relevant sports context. Furthermore, we are in the process of building a global network of content providers utilising our multi-market presence including production hubs in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Krakow, Vienna and several locations across North and South America. We believe this will give us a huge competitive advantage versus other media houses, many of which are local or regional.

SBC: Tell us a little more about the Swedish market, particularly from the perspective of sports fans and how they engage with their favourite sports.

ML: In Sweden, football and ice hockey dominate the sports landscape. With our new and upgraded portfolio we are very well-positioned to cater to the needs of sports fans across the country. Through Hockeysverige.se and FotbollDirekt.se we cover both sports and SvenskaFans.com has a unique position on the market, being a fan community-driven platform featuring nearly 900 content providers. 

In addition, we have FanTV which is a YouTube channel with over 30k followers and a number of social media platforms which are key to engaging the younger audience. When it comes to media consumption, video is becoming more and more important, especially highlights and in-game content. We have partnered with live broadcasters to ensure that we can deliver relevant video content to our readers, and we are also exploring new ways to provide sports fans with stories that engage and excite them, inhouse productions as well as partner-sourced content. It’s all very exciting.

SBC: And finally, with the New Year receding into the rearview mirror, what lies ahead for Better Collective in 2024?

ML: We recently closed the acquisition of Playmaker Capital adding both a strong team and well-renowned sports media brands to our Group, which will have a huge impact on Better Collective globally making us one the biggest media groups in terms of online media audience but also interesting from a Nordic perspective as we are bringing onboard some of the leading North American hockey news platforms.

We are of course also very excited about the Euro 2024 and Copa America this summer, and being Swedish I always look forward to the Hockey World Championship in May which will be covered on the ground by our Hockeysverige team including Christian “Fimpen” Eklund.

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