PlayOn! Sports and GoFan to Merge, Creating Leading Technology and Media Platform for High School Sports and Events
Combined company will offer best-in-class products and services to stakeholders across the high school sports landscape
PlayOn! Sports, a leading high school sports media and technology company, and GoFan, a leading digital ticketing company in the high school sports market, today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. KKR, which joined Panoramic Ventures as an investor in PlayOn! earlier this year, is making an additional investment from its North America Fund XIII fund to support the strategic combination.
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PlayOn!, founded in 2008, and GoFan, in 2001, have each strategically prioritized and made an impact in the high school sports and activities market. PlayOn! is best known for operating the NFHS Network, which provides live and on-demand content for high school sports and activities in all 50 states and Washington, DC. GoFan is a trusted digital ticketing provider for thousands of high schools and millions of fans nationwide. The NFHS Network is a joint venture with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and its member state associations. GoFan is closely aligned with the NFHS as an official partner to 40 of its member associations and counting. Together, PlayOn! and GoFan provide streaming and digital ticketing services to nearly 10,000 high schools nationwide.
“We are excited to be joining forces with an industry leader like GoFan as we capitalize on our tremendous market opportunity and build a winning high school sports technology and media platform,” said David Rudolph, CEO of PlayOn!. “The combination of our highly complementary capabilities in ticketing and streaming creates a one-stop shop with unparalleled access and streamlined customer experiences for in-person, live-stream and on-demand events.”
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“PlayOn! and GoFan have a common mission to elevate the event experience for high school administrators, coaches and fans, and today’s milestone will help us set the industry standard for school and fan engagement,” said B.J. Pilling, CEO of GoFan. “We are confident the combination of our teams will drive exponential value to our mutual state association and high school partners. We intend to tirelessly promote and market school events across the country to drive increased revenue through ticket sales and streaming.”
“We are pleased to further our investment in PlayOn! to support the strategic combination with GoFan,” said Ted Oberwager, Partner at KKR. “This transaction unites two mission-oriented teams with a shared vision for the future.”
“The merger of PlayOn! and GoFan brings together two leaders in high school streaming and ticketing. This combination will catalyze a new era of innovation for state associations, schools, and fans,” said Mark Buffington, Managing Partner of Panoramic Ventures. “As a long-time partner to both David and B.J., I am thrilled to see this combination come together. We have built a lot of value for our partners – the NFHS and its member State Associations and schools – and the next phase of our journey will create even more benefits for our stakeholders, including fans of high school sports and activity content.”
The transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
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