Learfield Communications has operated for many years as a multimedia sports marketing company under the umbrella of Providence Equity Partners. It works exclusively for more than 100 collegiate outfits and, in addition to performing marketing for those entities, offers sports news in various regions of the U.S. Now it will find itself under new management.
Atairos Group reported this month that it has agreed to purchase Learfield from Providence for an undisclosed sum. Although the financial details of this new arrangement were not provided in Learfield’s announcement, its CEO, Greg Brown, appears excited to have the opportunity to build even further on the growth he has witnessed in the past several years.
“Over the last three years with Providence, our core multimedia rights business grew substantially, while we developed new digital offerings, an extensive national sales platform, and built out additional products and services through acquisitions, strategic partnerships and organic initiatives,” Brown began.
He noted that this growth was well-positioned to continue with Atairos because of his new parent’s investment strategy, which couples its long-term nature with an intention to provide an environment necessary for such growth. Of course, Atairos will be doing everything in its power to help Learfield be successful; for the parent to succeed, the child must succeed.
Brown also dropped an important name in saying that Atairos will provide “complementary resources and a close relationship with Comcast-NBCUniversal, which will help us continue to provide innovative solutions for our collegiate and corporate partners.”
Despite the change in broader leadership, Brown will continue to work in Learfield’s senior management team alongside several other board members who will continue their stay across this transfer.
It appears that this deal has been in Atairos CEO Michael Angelakis’s eye for some time. He commented that his company has admired Learfield from afar. It just happened that the time to take action on that admiration has come. It will include, as both company’s officials have confirmed, partnerships with some important sports entities (Comcast-NBCUniversal) and therefore could ultimately affect a new set of audience members.