4FRONT In Growth Mode After Investment From GSC

Chicago-based agency 4FRONT plans an aggressive expansion strategy after an infusion of cash from international sports marketing giant Global Sports Commerce.

By John Lombardo May 27, 2019

Chicago-based agency 4FRONT plans an aggressive expansion strategy after an infusion of cash from international sports marketing giant Global Sports Commerce.

The funding deal calls for a “high seven figures” capital investment by GSC into 4FRONT, which was founded in 2007 by industry veterans Dan Migala and Josh Kritzler.

4FRONT, which has 41 employees, plans to use the capital to almost double the size of its staff as it looks to add overseas clients and potentially other U.S. offices. In addition to its Chicago headquarters, 4FRONT has offices in Charlotte, Dallas and Denver.

“We will take our domestic relationships and shepherd them overseas,” Kritzler said. “GSC has such a global footprint and we can now be a conduit to that.”

In return for its investment in 4FRONT, GSC will take a 50% stake in the company. 4FRONT will retain operating control and board control of the agency that offers sports consulting, digital, media, ticketing, analytics, innovation and activation expertise, and third-party property sales services. Key 4FRONT clients include the Chicago Bears, the Minnesota Twins, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Cricket Australia, Feld Entertainment, Hendrick Motorsports, Minor League Baseball and the UFC.

Now, with the infusion of capital, 4FRONT expects to add to its client base both domestically and overseas. It is nearing a deal with the Irish Rugby Football Union and Tennis Australia and its overseas push will be aided by Singapore-based GSC’s strong presence in Australia, China and India.

“We have access to bundle some of their products,” Migala said. “We will expand our analytical offerings. They have such great global access to data to mirror what we are doing domestically.”

In return, GSC gains a foothold into the U.S. market. GSC has 13 subsidiaries in 16 cities across 10 countries, but its only U.S. presence is a subsidiary office in Wilmington, Del.

“Our partnership with 4FRONT is all about people and business alignment,” said M S Muralidharan, GSC chief executive officer. “There was an immediate cultural fit with Dan, Josh and the 4FRONT team from the very first meeting and as we continued to meet, business opportunities manifested within our current and potential new business offerings.”

Some of GSC’s blue-chip global partners include the English Premier League, FIFA, UEFA, La Liga and myriad others through its various subsidiaries. GSC itself last year received $80 million in funding from the KKR investment firm.

The 4FRONT deal was a year in the making as discussions began last Memorial Day weekend. Migala and Kritzler then took trips to India, Australia and Dublin with the deal closing on May 10.

“We learned that the things they did really well were like puzzle pieces to the things we identified as growth areas for us,” Migala said, adding that access to GSC’s market data and other analytics will help 4FRONT maintain and attract new clients.

 

Original Article Located At:

https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2019/05/27/Marketing-and-Sponsorship/4Front.aspx

Press Release Located At:

https://www.team4front.com/kkr-backed-global-sports-commerce-acquires-minority-stake-in-4front/

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KKR-backed Global Sports Commerce Acquires Minority Stake in 4FRONT

CHICAGO, IL – May 28, 2019 – Global Sports Commerce (“GSC”), the Singapore-based sports technology and management company, today announced a minority investment in 4FRONT, the Chicago-based sports and entertainment marketing company.

CHICAGO, IL – May 30, 2019 – Global Sports Commerce (“GSC”), the Singapore-based sports technology and management company, today announced a minority investment in 4FRONT, the Chicago-based sports and entertainment marketing company. The investment follows an aggregate US$80mm investment that GSC received from KKR in March 2018 to invest in the fast-growing media, entertainment, consumer tech and B2B industries.

The investment in 4FRONT will give GSC a deeper footprint in North America and an opportunity to increase its offerings to the sports and entertainment industries with new shared services. 4FRONT will receive a high-seven figure investment to increase its staffing and further its analytics, digital and innovative industry-leading service offerings to teams and leagues in North America and globally.

GSC combines cutting-edge technology solutions in the fields of LED signage, sponsorship management, premium consulting, fan engagement, AR/VR, drone-based data acquisition, wireless tech and data-sciences. It offers clients these comprehensive sports technology and management services by leveraging its extensive network of companies that include Techfront, ITW, Qubercomm, Sportsgateway, Media Bay, Cartoon Mango and Nanoyotta.

Since its launch, the company has cultivated strong relationships with franchises across the sporting world with the aim of enhancing the commercial value of its sporting clients and creating new avenues for commerce. The franchises that GSC has partnered with include FIFA, the English Premier League, NRL Australia, Australian Football league, IPL, Formula 1, Big Bash League, New Zealand Cricket, Cricket Australia, IMG and Asia Sports. The company offices in 16 cities in 10 countries including Australia, Hungary, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, the UAE, UK, and the USA.

4FRONT is a global leader in the sports and entertainment with four core competencies inclusive of analytics, digital media, innovation and partnership sales; the company has lead the revenue-growth strategies for teams and leagues for more than a decade. The franchises 4FRONT has partnered with include MLS, NCAA, New Zealand Rugby, Cricket Australia, International Cricket Council, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Red Wings, IMG College, International Speedway Corp., Live Nation, Minnesota Twins, Minor League Baseball, PBR and the UFC. The company currently has offices in Chicago, Dallas and Denver.

M S Muralidharan, CEO of GSC, said, “GSC has been a trailblazer in the sports industry by providing cutting edge technology solutions across Australasia, Africa and Europe. We are excited to work with and nurture the exceptional entrepreneurial talent in 4FRONT, to create enviable propositions for the sports bodies in North America and thus firm our feet in the continent.”

Josh Kritzler, Co-Founder of 4FRONT, said, “We are incredibly excited to partner with GSC.  From the first meeting almost a year ago there was total alignment in our values, our people and our collective desire to blend incredibly innovative people with world class data and technology.  This partnership will allow 4FRONT to do more of what we love, better service our existing partners and knowledge share across the globe.”

Dan Migala, Co-Founder of 4FRONT, said, “For the last 12 years, 4FRONT has been all about breakthrough innovations in the world of sport & entertainment. This new partnership with GSC and its diverse portfolio of companies will allow us and our client partners to launch a new era together and raise the bar of what it means to innovate globally.”

Neil Maxwell, CEO of Techfront Australia, said, “4FRONT has an unmatched reputation for success in North America and here in Australia. We’re thrilled to welcome 4FRONT as partners with GSC and Techfront and look forward to aligning their services with ours to better serve the global sports & entertainment marketplace.”

About GSC
Headquartered in Singapore, GSC combines cutting-edge technology solutions in the fields of LED signage, sponsorship management, premium consulting, fan engagement, AR/VR, drone-based data acquisition, wireless tech and data-sciences. It offers clients these comprehensive sports technology and management services by leveraging its extensive network of companies that include Techfront, ITW, Qubercomm, Sportsgateway, Media Bay, Beyond Boundaries, Cartoon Mango and Nanoyotta.

Since its launch, the company has cultivated strong relationships with franchises across the sporting world with the aim of enhancing the commercial value of its sporting clients and creating new avenues for commerce. The franchises that GSC has partnered with include FIFA, the English Premier League, NRL Australia, Australian Football league, IPL, Formula 1, Big Bash League, New Zealand Cricket, Cricket Australia, IMG and Asia Sports. The company offices in 16 cities in 10 countries including Australia, Hungary, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, the UAE, UK, and the USA. More information can be found at www.globalsportscommerce.com

About 4FRONT Founded in 2007, 4FRONT has evolved from a Chicago-based sponsorship and consultancy firm to a company with offices in Chicago, Dallas and Denver. The company is focused on driving both traditional and non-traditional revenue growth in the sports and entertainment industries. Using their four core competencies of analytics, digital media, innovation and partnership sales; 4FRONT partners with a global roster of clients including Cricket Australia, Chicago Bears, Hendrick Motorsports, IMG College, Minor League Baseball, Oklahoma City Thunder, PBR, Richmond Raceway and the UFC. More information can be found at www.Team4FRONT.com or on Twitter @Team_4FRONT