LONDON — Global production giant FremantleMedia has taken an almost 35% share in Squawka, the London-based soccer media company. The deal makes it the largest single shareholder in the digital business, and it has the option to increase the stake in the future.
Squawka, which was launched in 2012 by Sanjit Atwal and Leo Harrison, uses its proprietary technology to visualize millions of soccer data points, which form the basis of editorial and social media content. The site reaches more than 5 million fans worldwide every day, and its content was viewed more than 2 billion times last year. Producing more than 180 pieces of content a day, the team of journalists, technologists and creatives are a 24/7 operation catering for a global millennial audience.
The investment complements The Football Republic, the soccer fan network run by Shotglass Media, FremantleMedia’s U.K. digital studio. The companies will work together to create new editorial strands using Squawka’s data and content with TFR’s engaged fan base, sharing on and off-screen talent across both properties and “offering brands opportunities for even deeper engagement with soccer fans on digital platforms.”
The deal reflects FremantleMedia’s ongoing investment in digital media: it has a majority share in Divimove, one of Europe’s most successful native digital media companies; in 2014, it announced Munchies with Vice Media; in 2015, it partnered with Jukin Media to grow The Pet Collective; and its content on YouTube attracts 1.5 billion views every month. It’s also the latest investment to support the company’s broader strategy to grow its global creative network. Recent deals include Abot Hameiri, Man Alive Entertainment, Naked Entertainment, Full Fat TV, No Pictures Please, Corona Pictures, Fontaram, Kwai and Wildside.