Play Sports Group – the digital sports media company behind cycling brands Global Cycling Network (GCN) and Global Mountain Bike Network (GMBN) has announced that Discovery Communications – the global media and entertainment group and owner of Eurosport – has led an investment round, taking a 20 per cent stake in Play Sports Group and a seat on its board.
This investment and commercial partnership with Eurosport enables Play Sports Group to rapidly scale its business, bringing its content to cycling fans, wherever they are. The company will launch further channels in cycling and across other sports, hiring up to 150 people for newly created digital and creative roles over the next two years – predominantly based at its HQ in Bath UK, as well as a small number based in new international offices.
Discovery leads this latest round of funding, which also has been supported by its existing investor group – including Andrew Croker (Chairman), Oli Slipper (Non-Exec Director), John Gleasure and Stef D’Anna (Perform), Tony Ball (ex Sky and BT), Paul Bolwell (ex Wiggle) and Humphrey Cobbold (Pure Gym, ex Wiggle). Ralph Rivera, Managing Director, Eurosport Digital and Sameer Pabari, SVP Business Development, Eurosport will join the newly formed Executive Board.
Simon Wear, Founder and CEO of Play Sports Group said: “Passion for cycling is the biggest it’s ever been and as a lifelong fan, I know it’s one of the most robust and enduring sports that’s ever existed. I’m delighted to have Discovery Communications and its leading sports brand Eurosport join our incredible list of investors and advisors. It’s extremely clear how determined and smart they are in the development of their digital business, and we’re really looking forward to working with the team. Thanks to our team of investors, we’re able to make our business ambitions possible. Their backing and financial support enables us to really turbo-charge the next phase of growth, bringing around 150 new people to digital and creative roles. There’s an audience of hundreds of millions of cycling fans around the world, and together we’ll get closer to them than ever before.”