Oliver Slipper

Perform looking abroad for growth

UK based sports media and betting insight and informations services operator Perform Group, will look to grow its business in the US, through  digital distribution of media rights and video streaming of sports content.

The US sports market has become a major target to Perform Group, after a difficult 2013, in which the operator had warned investors and analysts that year-end revenues would be below targeted expectations.

The performance warning had led to the company seeing their value halved on the London Stock Exchange. This January Perform further reported that CFO David Surtees had resigned from his position after six years of service .

Perform Group, have begun 2014 with a new outlook and strategy. The US sports market looks to be a key factor to the company’s future success and growth. Perform have a majority ownership in US sports portal – the Sportingnews, which the company has indicated is key to advertising growth.

Key to US growth will be revenues generated by video advertising and content and data distribution to new legislated digital gambling operators targeting the USA. In 2013 ad-spend on digital video advertising for the US market was reported to be at + $4 billion, with industry analysts speculating the figure to double by 2016. Perform Group are looking to gain their share of the market by providing video content and advertising for sports.

Currently Perform Group share digital distribution rights for sports such as soccer, cricket, darts. The company has stated that it is looking to grow  its US content and make its distribution more appealing to customers and partnership clients. A Company executive has labelled their future strategy as wanting to be the ‘ESPN for the sports betting industry’.

Digital advertising, particularly in the form of video, is where Perform sees the biggest growth opportunities. “It’s the fastest growing part of our business,” said Mr. Slipper. “I see advertising becoming as big as content distribution.” Perform has struck deals with a variety of major sports leagues, including the NFL, to carry highlights on the company’s ePlayer video portal. That video portal is present on more than 1,800 news websites worldwide, according to the company.

“We see really interesting demand for sports video content,” said Mr. Slipper. “I think there is still more supply than demand for quality content.”

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