Industry powerhouse SMT acquires Sportvision
Sports technology leader consolidates marketplace to accelerate innovation, enhance client services, and expand product portfolio
DURHAM, N.C., October 5, 2016 - SMT (SportsMEDIA Technology), the best-in-class provider of live data integration, real-time graphics presentation, and video enhancement solutions for live sports telecasts and live entertainment productions, today announced that it has acquired Chicago, Ill.-based Sportvision.
The acquisition gives SMT a broader and deeper reach to a host of new clients and sectors in the highly competitive global sports and broadcast services industry. In addition, the acquisition provides SMT with complementary state-of-the-art technology components that will facilitate and accelerate SMT’s plans for developing its next-generation products for the sports broadcast and sports event industries.
SMT acquired a 100 percent interest in the Emmy award-winner and will rebrand Sportvision as SMT. The acquisition agreement was approved by shareholders of both companies on September 20 and the transaction formally closed on October 4.
“SMT’s acquisition of Sportvision is a watershed moment for us,” said SMT founder and CEO Gerard J. Hall. “Although we have been marketplace competitors for many years, SMT has always had a tremendous respect for the applied science, the cutting-edge technology, and the creative innovation that runs through the DNA of the Sportvision team. While other companies claim to have had a game-changing impact on how sports are presented, Sportvision enjoys an unparalleled and industrywide reputation for delivering actual game-changing solutions.”
Sportvision has been awarded more than 70 patents for its technical innovations and is best known for its Emmy award-winning Virtual Yellow 1st & Ten line; its MLB pitch and strike-zone tracking system called PITCH/fx; its NASCAR tracking and pointer system; and for providing data insights for player development, analytics, coaching and recruiting. Sportvision’s innovative technologies are an inseparable and integral part of how televised sports are presented and consumed in the U.S.
“I am pleased that Sportvision has found a great acquirer in SMT; they are a leader in the sports technology industry and they have been very successful across many decades in this business,” said Sportvision CEO Hank Adams. “Sportvision has a terrific collection of existing products and innovative technologies under development. Combining these with SMT’s capabilities will provide fans, teams and media companies with exceptional insights and value.”
Emmy award-winning SMT enjoys a global reputation in the broadcast and live event production industries as a pioneer, innovator, and best-in-class provider of live sports data integration and real-time graphics enhancements. SMT is currently developing platforms and paradigms for the seamless use of live, real-time, object-tracking technology in sports production, visualization and analytics. In addition, SMT has designed, has developed and currently supports the official scoring systems, the official statistics systems, and the official on-site live presentation systems for the NBA, the NHL, the PGA TOUR, NASCAR, the CrossFit Games, all four golf majors and all four tennis slams, including the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros, and the Australian Open.
SMT’s acquisition of Sportvision builds on the strategic growth plan SMT has been executing over the past several years and follows on the heels of SMT’s recently announced hiring of 30-year ESPN veteran Jed Drake to lead SMT’s emerging technologies initiatives.
“I am very pleased with the market momentum that SMT has been building recently. In particular, I am excited about the long-term, mutually-beneficial partnership opportunities that this momentum represents for current and future SMT clients,” added SMT’s Hall.
Gerard J. Hall, who founded SMT in 1988, will remain CEO and controlling shareholder of the expanded SMT. The transaction was unanimously approved by SMT’s Board of Directors and was financed through a minority round investment by Eldridge Industries, Vicente Capital Partners, and SMT CEO Gerard J. Hall. Eldridge Industries invests in businesses across multiple industries with a focus on finance, media, sports and real estate. Its media investments include Dick Clark Productions, The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard and it is led by Chairman and CEO Todd Boehly, a principal owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Vicente Capital Partners, a current SMT investor dating from their initial minority investment in 2010, is a Los Angeles-based private equity fund specializing in providing equity capital to privately held growth companies across North America. Lazard Middle Market provided SMT with financial advisory services throughout the transaction. Pepper Hamilton of Philadelphia, led by Matt Adler, provided legal services to SMT for all aspects of the financing and the transaction. SMT’s current banking partner, Fifth Third, based in Raleigh, NC, was also instrumental in the funding of the acquisition.
SMT is a privately-held company with headquarters in Durham, N.C., and operations in Jacksonville, Fla., and London, England. Financial terms of the transaction are undisclosed.
SMT is the best in class provider of live data integration, real-time graphics presentation and video enhancement solutions for live sports telecasts and live entertainment productions. SMT provides clients with scoring, statistics, virtual insertion and messaging for broadcasts and live events. SMT solutions have been used at the world’s most prestigious live events including: the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the World Cup, NBC Sunday Night Football, all four major golf and tennis grand slam events, the Indianapolis 500, the NCAA March Madness Tournament, ESPN X Games, the NBA on TNT, all NASCAR race events and the NHL Stanley Cup. SMT’s clients include major broadcasters as well as regional and specialty networks, organizing bodies, event operators, sponsors and teams. For more information, visit smt.com
Sportvision, Inc. ® is the nation’s premier innovator of sports and entertainment products for fans, media companies and marketers. Sportvision solutions have enhanced experiences for fans and marketing partners of the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, the Olympic Games, NHL, PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, NBA, NCAA, WTA, MLS, IRL, X Games and other sport events on-air and online. As sports fans demand richer and fuller entertainment experiences, Sportvision delivers a heightened sports-viewing experience across all forms of media. For additional information, please go to www.sportvision.com.