DAZN Reorgs Divisions, Opens Branches in Amsterdam and Canada
Perform Group announced it will be called DAZN Group and consolidated into two distinct brands: DAZN and Perform Content. In addition, DAZN will be opening a brand-new office in Amsterdam that will create jobs for 300 by 2022 with roles including software engineers, development managers, and scrum masters. Lastly, the company has signed a multiyear rights agreement with Combate Americas, the premier Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports franchise, and will bring a minimum of 13 fight nights per year to the platform.
DAZN and Perform Content
“We have two enormous growth opportunities but they are distinct from each other,” says Executive Chairman John Skipper. “Consequently, we are re-organizing to create dedicated management and standalone teams each with a clear and focused agenda and mission. We have an incredible opportunity to exploit significant shifts in sports media to drive great products to sports fans and create a company with ever more influence on the new sports media universe”.
DAZN will be the consumer-facing division, including DAZN itself, the world’s first dedicated live and on-demand sports streaming service, and some of the largest sports websites in the world, such as Goal.com, SportingNews, and Spox.com. The content and traffic of these websites and apps will focus increasingly on acquiring subscribers for and driving traffic to DAZN, as well as serving fans with fantastic sports content. DAZN will also use its combined assets and inventory to create packages for advertisers.
DAZN Group will be led by CEO and founder Simon Denyer and he will be joined by a new CFO Stuart Epstein. Epstein has a 20-year track record at Morgan Stanley and has previously served as CFO for NBC Universal. James Rushton takes on a wider role as Chief Revenue Officer, responsible for all products, revenue, and marketing.
Perform Content will be responsible for the group’s B2B activities — continuing to provide world class sports data, news and video to the world’s leading broadcasters, digital companies and sports books. Perform Content will be given more resources and autonomy to invest in its primary products, such as Opta, Watch & Bet, and RunningBall.
The CEO of Perform Content will continue to be Ross MacEacharn and he will be joined by Ashley Milton as Perform Content Chief Financial Officer.
The two brands will each have their own governance and leadership but report into one board, chaired by Skipper. DAZN and Perform Content will collaborate closely on a commercial basis. DAZN will use Perform Content data to power its products. Perform Content will continue to leverage and add value to global rights acquired by DAZN.
“Perform Group has been one of the defining companies of the sports industry over the last decade,” says Denyer. “The exceptional growth and execution of DAZN in its first seven markets means we need to focus our efforts around our primary growth engine. Our B2B division continues to grow but now is the time for it to have its own separate identity and investment plan. We are delighted that it will continue to use the Perform name.”
DAZN will remain the main rights holding company for the group including its long-term partnerships with strategic partners such as WTA, FIBA, CONMEBOL, Matchroom Boxing, NFL, and EHF.
Sir Leonard Blavatnik’s Access Industries, the privately held group with global investments in multiple sectors, will continue to be the major shareholder of DAZN Group and support the growth of both brands.
DAZN Opens New Development Center in Amsterdam
The new development center will play a crucial role in the global roll-out of DAZN as the home to the R&D and Innovation, Acquisitions and Retention, and Third Party Integration teams.
Headquartered in London, and part of Perform Group, DAZN will join a growing cluster of tech companies already based in the city such as Netflix, Uber, Amazon, Viacom, and Booking.com.
“We are already live in seven countries across three continents and have software developers creating a market leading product in the UK, Poland, and now the Netherlands,” says Florian Diederichsen, Chief Technology Officer DAZN. “The new development center is an important milestone in DAZN’s journey to become the world’s biggest sports broadcaster, with the best sports streaming product in the market.”
“The global sports industry is ripe for disruption and DAZN is leading the change,” adds Ben Lavender, Chief Product Officer. “The ability to hire world-classs software engineers, development managers, and scrum masters at a speed that can match the pace of our growth is essential to our business. We looked at several global locations, but nothing came close to Amsterdam for its infrastructure and the ability to attract the best global tech talent.”
“We are delighted that DAZN has decided for the Netherlands to set up the company’s new development center,” says Jeroen Nijland, Commissioner NFIA from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. “The Netherlands is renowned for its creativity and is located right in the heart of Europe. Great access to an English-speaking talent pool and strong international transport connections, make that the country offers an excellent climate for foreign firms looking to expand and thrive. DAZN choosing Amsterdam highlights that we are fast becoming one of the media and broadcasting centers of the world and we see DAZN as a great addition to this flourishing hub.”
DAZN is a global live and on demand sport streaming service that allows fans to watch their sport, their way. DAZN offers a 1-month free trial, no long-term contract, no bundles and is already available for sports fans in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Italy and the U.S. The investment in a new development center will enable DAZN to deliver its ambitious plans to be live in 20 markets by 2022.
The Amsterdam office is a further demonstration of DAZN’s rapid growth since the company was formed in 2016, which now has a global workforce of over 1200. In the past year alone, DAZN has made 750 new hires in the UK.
DAZN and Combate Americas Sign Distribution Deal
DAZN will be the exclusive home of Combate Americas’ English-language broadcasts in the United States and Canada. The agreement began with Levy Marroquin vs. Jose “Pochito” Alday on Friday, September 14.
Combate Americas is a fast-rising MMA organization known for its action-packed fights and growing audience within the sport. This deal will bring Combate Americas to English-language viewers for the first time.
“We are thrilled to be in partnership with an innovative and global entertainment leader like DAZN, and to be able to showcase the fast-paced, aggressive and in-your-face style of fighting that Combate Americas offers and that, 25 years after I launched the UFC, has re-defined MMA as ‘Mucha Mas Accion,'” says Campbell McLaren, Combate Americas CEO.
“We continue to break new ground in this sports industry, and this deal speaks directly to our pursuit of reaching new heights.”
“Chapter one of DAZN’s entrance into the U.S. market is focused on combat sports,” says Joseph Markowski, DAZN SVP, North America. “And with 80% of Combate Americas’ fights ending in a stoppage, we are excited to bring that type of action to fight fans.”
Following the announcement of deals across Matchroom Boxing, Bellator MMA, and the World Boxing Super Series, the Combate Americas deal puts the number of fight nights per year on DAZN at 80+.
The winner of the bantamweight (135 lbs.) matchup between Marroquin, who hails from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico and Alday of Tucson, Ariz. by way of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, will be crowned the first Mexican MMA world champion in history as well as the first world champion in Combate Americas’ history.