Industry Archives: Entertainment

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Extreme Sports Family Entertainment Centers in the US

The Company is developing seven universally and strategically placed 160,000 square foot family entertainment centers. It is targeting major tourist cities with a large local consumer base. The first location would be in Orlando.

The Company’s family entertainment centers are sports venues and arenas, similar to well-known venues such as Wembley, Chicago Stadium or Madison Square Garden. The parks would be company owned and operate and own the concessions as well, and own the media content and any broadcast rights. The Company believes that it is the only company of its kind presenting family entertainment in this segment of the family entertainment space.

The Company is working in the $220 billion extreme sports and family entertainment industry. Extreme sports, a largely untapped market, has 185 million participants worldwide. With 13 million skaters in the US alone, skating is now more popular with kids and young adults than the national pastime, baseball.

The first location in Orlando projects 471,900 visitors during the first 18 months of operation. Patrons are anticipated to spend on average $80 to skate, BMX, buy clothes, eat at a restaurant or cafe, have a drink in the lounge overlooking the park, go to our Athena Learning Center and branded Media Lab, and to stay in the themed hotel.

The Centers will offer scholarships to local kids for after school programs and work with the school systems to offer extra curricular activities.

A few main points:
a. 13 million kids skateboard versus 12 million kids that play baseball in the US.
b. Over 150 million kids worldwide are involved in action sports which includes skate and BMX (bike).
c. This market is a $220 billion worldwide lifestyle industry. It is a lifestyle segment that includes apparel (skateboards/bikes and clothing), media, technology and education.
d. There is no real home, “mecca” or family destination for this segment.
e. BMX became an Olympic sport in 2012, and skateboarding will be in 2016 following snowboarding in 2018.
f. Orlando is the largest tourist destination in the US – 60 million visitors annually.
g. Projections show $10 million ++ in first year sales (without events and concerts) scaling to $32 million.
h. There are opportunities in sports media, sponsorship and branding. The Company plans to retain all rights to it content and offer the major and local broadcasters an opportunity to broadcast events.
i. The center will have 160,000 square feet of indoor outdoor space in Orlando.
j. There are plans to expand to the Meadowlands (LOI), the Mall of America, and LasVegas. Each location sees 40 million tourists a year.
k. The Centers would be an attraction for the extreme enthusiasts, families, local community alike.
l. BMX became an Olympic sport in 2012, and skateboarding will be in the 2016 games, similar to snowboarding in 2008.

Deal Contact:
Radbourne Property Group
John Van Clief
[email protected]
+1 212 918 0640

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Nigerian Video-on-Demand Service

Vision Media London Limited is seeking £228,645 seed finance against 30% equity to launch AfroBeats.TV.com as a video-on-demand brand and produce a range of programs aimed to satisfy the tastes of 18-30 year-old demographic model and Nigerian diaspora of 3,000,000 in UK and 3,250,000 in US, of largely college, or university students, or young professionals, plus 48,366,179 Nigerian Internet users.

The website will be hosted from UK and linked to payment gateway to process major credit cards, PayPal, plus local Nigerian SMS money transfer, and credit cards. Next Generation Networks (NGN) for smartphones will drive convergence of data and video/TV, enabling the provision of triple-play services that will partly monetize the operation.

The hallmark to our website VOD and Mobile TV success will be providing free 10-minute example video clips of a weekly celebratory reality series called “Star Rider”, plus a weekly hip magazine review show called “Backstage” as well as a monthly live music concert series called “Afro Sunsplash”. This will whet the audience appetites and entice them to signup to our monthly payment plan of £1.21 ($2.0) for either “Star Rider”, and/or “Backstage”, or £2.43 ($4.00) for “Afro Sunsplash”, using credit cards, PayPal, or SMS money transfer. Customers will be able to download and actually purchase a digital movie file, rather than rent for limited period.

Best-case scenario is based on different revenue streams from VOD and banner advertising beginning with 0.04% market penetration and 0.01% monthly growth rate, which will enable repayment the start of the 2nd year. Worst-case scenario is based on approximately half of the estimated yearly growth rate.

Contact for more information:
Vision Media London Limited
Martin Baker
+44 208 878 5203
[email protected]

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PonoMusic Raises More Than $6M In Equity Crowdfunding In One Week

TechCrunch
Neil Young’s startup PonoMusic became the fourth-most funded project on Kickstarter back in April, when it raised $6.2 million on a goal of $800,000. The project now has raked in an additional $6 million in equity funding from a Crowdfunder campaign.

Pono Music is building a music download service and physical music player that is set to launch in a few months. The project focuses on ultra high-quality sound, projecting to offer a digital music store with more than 2 million titles, which will have 30 times more sound data than typical MP3 files.

The company’s Kickstarter project raked in endorsements not only from celebrities in the music industry like Bruce Springsteen, but from prominent people in the technology world, including Oculus COO Laird Malamed and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels.
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Alibaba invests $120 mln in Kabam in latest U.S. deal

NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (IPO-BABA.N) has invested $120 million in San Francisco-based mobile games studio Kabam, the latest in a string of U.S. investments intended to build up the Chinese online retailer’s presence in the world’s biggest Internet arena. The investment raises the valuation of Kabam from $700 million to more than $1 billion. As part of the partnership, Kabam will take games from “The Hobbit: Kingdoms of the Middle-earth” to “Fast & Furious 6: The Game” to users of Alibaba’s messaging app Laiwang and e-commerce service Taobao, the companies said. First up will be Kabam’s “The Lord of the Rings” game.

Alibaba, which will make its highly anticipated Wall Street debut this year, has grown its pool of U.S. investments in content, e-commerce and social media over the past 18 months. It has built an M&A scouting team in this country and forged ties in Silicon Valley.

The Kabam deal follows Alibaba’s investments in messaging app Tango, which also offers games and music; Amazon.com rival Shoprunner; niche e-tailer 11 Main; even a deal to stream Lionsgate movies and TV programs back to China. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Alibaba is in funding talks with ephemeral photo-messaging app Snapchat, taking that fast-growing startup’s valuation to some $10 billion.

Kabam Chief Operating Officer Kent Wakeford said in an interview this week that his company initiated talks with Alibaba.

Chief Executive Officer Kevin Chou and Wakeford, who had been on the lookout for a partner to help distribute Kabam’s games in China, made several trips to the Asian country over the past six months to meet Alibaba executives, he added.

“We have talked to all of the major companies in China and we found that there was a very good cultural fit between the management of Alibaba and Kabam,” Wakeford said.

“We also appreciated their vision of where they wanted to go from a gaming perspective, and how they wanted to leverage all of their resources within China to create a very big foothold for gaming in that market.”

Alibaba will also take a seat on Kabam’s board of directors, Wakeford said.

Alibaba has cemented its spot as the top online retailer in China but has struggled to grow its business on mobile devices.

The company launched its own mobile game service in January, hoping to keep mobile users engaged as shopping migrates to smartphones and tablets from personal computers.

Chinese rival Tencent is currently dominant in mobile games and is muscling onto Alibaba’s e-commerce turf. Shenzhen-based Tencent makes the majority of its revenue from the sale of games and in-game virtual goods via mobile apps like messaging service WeChat.

“It’s hard for me to speak to (Alibaba’s) strategy, direction or priorities. We do know that gaming is a very large market in China and they have one of the largest consumer reaches within China,” Wakeford added. “To be able to augment that with gaming revenue and great games can be significant to Alibaba.”

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Light Chaser, The Animation Studio That Wants To Be “China’s Pixar,” Raises $20M

TechCrunch June 20, 2014
Light Chaser, the animation studio that aspires to be China’s Pixar, announced today that it has raised $20 million in series B funding led by GGV Capital, with participation from Hillhouse Capital and returning investor IDG. The company was launched in March 2013 by Tudou founder Gary Wang after Tudou merged with Youku, creating China’s biggest streaming video site and aspires to make high-quality computer animated films with a “Chinese cultural touch.”

Light Chaser, which has spent the past year and a half filling out its art, technology, and management rosters, also said that its first 3D animated feature, “Little Door Spirits,” will be completed by July 2015 with a budget of RMB 70 million (about $12 million). While “Little Door Spirits” won’t be released for another year at least, Light Chaser has released a short film called “Little Yeyos” as a preview of what it can do.

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Gazprom Pumps $57 Million Into 2 Russian Hockey Teams

Moscow Times
Gazprom Neft, the oil-producing arm of Russian state gas company Gazprom, has finalized sponsorship deals with the SKA and Avangard hockey clubs worth a total of about 2 billion rubles ($57 million), Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

The St. Petersburg-based SKA hockey club, which reached the semifinals of the Kontinental Hockey League’s western conference in March, will receive 1.18 billion rubles ($33 million) to advertise the company’s brand until the end of 2014.

Gazprom Neft’s board of directors has also agreed to pay out 798 million rubles ($23 million) to Avangard, a club from the Siberian city of Omsk that failed to qualify for the playoffs after finishing 10th in the eastern conference. The sponsorship deal between the two sides runs from August to April 2015.
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Alibaba buys half of Guangzhou Evergrande football club

China’s biggest e-commerce firm Alibaba has bought a 50% stake in Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club for a reported 1.2 billion yuan ($192m; £114m). Guangzhou Evergrande is one of China’s most successful football clubs. It was the first Chinese team to win the Asian Football Confederation Champions League last year.

Alibaba’s purchase comes in the run up to its highly-anticipated US share sale, and marks the firm’s latest attempt to diversify its business. We’re not investing in football, we’re investing in entertainment” commented billionaire founder Jack Ma, who has made several acquisitions ahead of the internet giant’s initial public offering, which many predict will become the world’s largest tech listing.
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Russian Billionaire Anton Zingarevich to Sell Reading Football Club for £1

May 26, 2014
Russian billionaire Anton Zingarevich is reportedly willing to sell his majority stake in Reading Football Club a cut price after The Royals missed out on promotion to the Premier League. Anton Zingarevich, the son of St. Petersburg-based paper billionaire Boris Zingarevich, has offered his 51 percent share for £1, but the low price tag is somewhat misleading because the new owner would have to take on the club’s £38 million debt, The Independent reported Monday. Zingarevich’s Thames Sports Investments bought a majority share in the club in 2012 and has reportedly invested £25 million since then, the report said.

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Berlin-Based Games Performance Marketing Platform Crobo Acquires Hamburg’s TrafficCaptain

TechCrunch April 1, 2014
In a move that sees some local consolidation in the games marketing space, Crobo, the Berlin-based games performance marketing platform, is hoovering up its Hamburg neighbour TrafficCaptain, which runs a games performance — or affiliate — network. The acquisition price remains undisclosed, so this is unlikely to be a home run for TrafficCaptain’s hands-on backer/co-founder iVentureCapital, which focuses on investing and incubating startups in the games industry.

The acquisition sees Crobo grow its team to over 50 employees, as well as giving it an all-important footprint in Hamburg where there are a lot of online and mobile gaming companies and with whom TrafficCaptain already has relationships with. In addition, the company has decent international reach; Crobo is talking up Latin America and Asia as two markets where the acquisition of TrafficCaptain will help it reach new users for both mobile and browser-based free-to-play games.
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Disney Buys Maker Studios, Video Supplier for YouTube

New York Times March 24, 2014
LOS ANGELES — Mickey Mouse became a YouTube giant on Monday. The Walt Disney Company said it had completed a deal to pay $500 million to acquire Maker Studios, a YouTube-based video supplier that generates more than 5.5 billion views a month from a subscriber base of 380 million. The purchase, by far the largest for what Hollywood calls a multichannel network, calls for Disney to pay another $450 million if aggressive growth targets are met.

“Maker already has a very large audience that will only keep growing, and that is something that would be hard to build on our own,” said Kevin A. Mayer, Disney’s executive vice president for corporate strategy and business development.

Most of Disney’s recent acquisitions have been about amassing intellectual property to fuel its television, theme park, consumer products and movie divisions — buying Lucasfilm, home to the “Star Wars” franchise, and Marvel Entertainment. There is an element of that with Maker, which runs popular YouTube channels like PewDiePie, starring a Swedish comedian and video game enthusiast, and Epic Rap Battles of History, focused on comedic pairings of historical and pop culture figures.

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