ESPN (NYSE: DIS) is acquiring Student Sports, Inc., a Torrance, Calif.-based digital media and event producer with a focus on high school sports. Assets include StudentSports.com, DyeStat.com and more than 160 events (among them Elite 11, Area Code Baseball and Nike Combines/Nike SPARQ Mini Camps); all will be integrated into ESPN RISE, which will distribute high-school related content across ESPN's platforms.
Headed by Andy Bark, Student Sports has been around in various forms for 22 years and has been a rival of SchoolSports Inc, acquired late last year by ESPN; SchoolSports' RISE Magazine and other assets form the cornerstone of ESPN RISE. ESPN's gain is Yahoo's (NSDQ: YHOO) lossStudent Sports has been part of the Yahoo-owned Rivals.com network through a content-sharing agreement that expires in July, before the ESPN deal closes.
In conjunction with the acquisition, ESPN has signed a licensing and content sharing deal with athletic training and assessment company SPARQ to continue the Nike-SPARQ relationship with the events being acquired.
By Staci D. Kramer