Finnish PE/VC News
Supponor announces €13.8m investment from Sports Investment Partners
Digital Billboard Replacement specialists Supponor have announced a major investment from Sports Investment Partners (SIP).
SIP, chaired by Sir Martin Broughton, chairman of British Airways and former chairman of Liverpool FC, has made a €13.8m investment in Supponor, a privately held company.
Supponor’s technology DBR Live has become a game-changer in perimeter advertising at sports events because it allows TV viewers watching the same event live in different countries to see billboard advertising tailored specifically to them.
SIP’s involvement means Supponor can now capitalise on several opportunities with major rights holders worldwide.
Jan Tore Meren, chairman of Supponor, said: “This major investment by Sports Investment Partners reflects not only on how much we have achieved as a business but also on the potential of the business going forward. We believe we have a compelling offering to the industry. We’re delighted to have such a key player among our shareholders.”
Supponor is SIP’s second investment and Matthew Wheeler, Managing Partner of SIP, said: “This investment is in line with our strategy of investing in quality businesses in the sports sector. Supponor has an excellent product and clear market leadership. The hugely exciting thing for rights holders is that the DBR Live technology allows perimeter advertising markets to be segmented – effectively selling the same billboard space several times over. The sports marketing industry has been looking and waiting for this technology for years. Now it's here and it works.
“Live sport is important to advertisers because it is one of the very few ways advertisers can get to large audiences and the increased flexibility that this technology provides makes perimeter boards a much more attractive media selling opportunity.”
DBR Live has revolutionised sports advertising by allowing billboard advertising from live events to be changed electronically to meet the requirements of each broadcast region or the varying demands of the advertisers themselves.
Multiple live feeds can be generated, identical in every way but with different billboard graphics in any electronic media form - including animation and video – specifically tailored to the required audience.
The technology allows the perimeter advertising market to be segmented – effectively selling the same billboard space several times over.
It works in real time and accommodates obstructions such as figures running in front of the billboards during a game. Viewers see an uninterrupted broadcast with natural-looking perimeter advertising and fans inside the stadium see the original billboards.
DBR Live has already been used by the Football Association for England internationals at Wembley and at the European Water Polo Championships in Eindhoven. It is being trialled by a range of sports governing bodies in Europe and worldwide.
Supponor has a research and development base in Helsinki, Finland, and a commercial and operational arm in London.
Sports Investment Partners (SIP) is Europe’s first ever investment firm focused purely on driving investment and growth in the sport industry.
SIP takes an “operating leverage” approach, proactively seeking opportunities which utilise its significant experience and success in sport and business, along with its unique network within and outside of sport, to develop strategies which drive the growth and value of its investments.
About Supponor: www.supponor.com
Supponor is a specialist company that has focused entirely on developing and commercialising Digital Billboard Replacement Technology (DBRLive) for live sports broadcasts. Supponor’s highly skilled software engineers, based at its research and development centre in Espoo, near Helsinki, are revolutionising perimeter pitchside advertising with their ground-breaking product. Meanwhile its UK-based operations team is perfectly placed to maximise new opportunities presented by DBR at live broadcast sporting events across Europe and beyond, establishing Supponor as an international force. Supponor is a privately held company owned by management, private investors and VC funds - Northzone V and Conor Technology Fund I.
About Sports Investment Partners: www.sportsip.co.uk
Sports Investment Partners, which is chaired by Sir Martin Broughton, is Europe’s first ever investment firm focused purely on supporting and driving business growth in the sport industry. SIP Managing Partners are sport specialists and together with Sir Martin, Matthew Wheeler and Michael Broughton the other partners are John Connolly (former worldwide Chairman of Deloitte and Nic Couchman (chairman of Couchmans the leading sports law firm). They have a proven track record from across the sector and a close understanding of the political, commercial and sporting needs of both the industry and its consumers. Supported by an unparalleled sporting and business network, SIP is uniquely positioned to develop strategies which drive the growth and value of its investments, bringing a timely new investment ethos to sport.
For more information:
Chris Buckley Chief Executive Officer, Supponor Tel: +44 7590 590180 www.supponor.com
Manu Mäkelä Partner, Conor Venture Partners Oy Tel. +358 400 442 873 www.conor.vc