Pyne's Bruin on a roll as On Location acquires PrimeSport
On Location Experiences, the former NFL hospitality business whose owners include Bruin Sports Capital, the international media, sports, marketing and branded lifestyle investment company led by George Pyne (pictured), said today that it has acquired PrimeSport, the USA-based sports hospitality and ticketing agency, which it described as “a leader in providing direct access to some of the biggest events in sports and entertainment.”
On Location said: “With the transaction, On Location is now comprised of over 500 employees in nine offices with a premium sales and marketing staff of over 100 people.”
The acquisition of the agency brings to about 150 the number of On Location’s clients, including rights-holders such as the NFL, NCAA, PGA of America and US Tennis Association, along with events including the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, the Ryder Cup, the Rose Bowl Game, Daytona 500 and the US Open.
Last month, PrimeSport was appointed as the official ticket exchange and experience partner for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco.
On Location also works with a range of partners in the music business.
In Addition to PrimeSport, On Location said that its operations now include: “Anthony Travel, the nation’s largest provider of collegiate sports travel management services; CID Entertainment, a hospitality leader in the live music and festival industry; Kreate Inc, a full service live creative concept and production firm with a focus on the customer experience; Nomadic Entertainment, which creates exclusive music and high-end nightlife experiences; Steve Furgal’s International Tennis Tours, a leader in developing world-class tennis experiences for more than 40 years; as well as a joint venture with Ricky Kirshner, one of the entertainment industry’s preeminent event producers.”
John Collins, chief executive of On Location, said: “On Location’s stated vision is to partner with content rights holders to help them better monetise their intellectual property and expand the activation and fan experience around their big events. The PrimeSport acquisition provides scale for our premium experiential offerings and for our fast-growing organisation’s capabilities and expertise.
“On Location is extremely well positioned to expand our model on a global basis. With the support of our sponsors, RedBird Capital, Bruin Sports Capital, 32 Equity and now the Carlyle Group, we will continue growing our platform and expand our services that will benefit our content partners and customers.”
On Location Experiences was previously known as NFL On Location, NFL American football’s hospitality business, but was rebranded in late 2016 following its acquisition of Runaway Tours, the VIP music hospitality business created by US singer Jon Bon Jovi.
NFL On Location was the first acquisition made by Bruin, which was launched at the turn of 2015 as WPP, the UK-based advertising giant, led a syndicate investing $250 million in the company, which was matched by private donors, providing Bruin with $500 million in buying power.
The group was founded by George Pyne, the former president of IMG Worldwide Sports and Entertainment.
Today’s acquisition announcement is its second in as many days, after it said yesterday that Engine Shop, the engagement and experiential marketing agency it owns, has acquired The Gamer Agency, an eSports strategy, event production and development company headquartered in New York.
Bruin, said that the acquisition puts Engine Shop, which Bruin acquired in November 2015, “at the forefront of this exploding genre where, according to the latest Newzoo research, advertising investment in eSports is expected to surpass $1 billion by 2020.”
Pyne, the founder and chief executive of Bruin Sports Capital who was formerly president of IMG Worldwide Sports and Entertainment, told Sportcal Insight earlier this year that Bruin “brought capital and enhanced management” to On Location, after it acquired it in 2015.
He said: “It was underdeveloped. It’s now much broader than what we started with. At this year’s Super Bowl it put on live music events for 27,000 people, 9,000 people a night [artists included Taylor Swift]. It was the ticket event at Super Bowl everyone wanted to go to. It also hosted 14,000 people and provided hospitality for a Super Bowl party and it organised pre- and post-game parties for the Patriots and the Falcons.
“It also promoted a college football game in Dublin, Ireland and has a company, Kreate, that does work for Disney. When I look at On Location now, it does work for many other federations and offers a vast array of services that didn’t exist two years ago.”
For the full interview with Pyne, click here.