Perform restructures and rebrands as DAZN

18 Sep 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

Sports media group Perform is to rebrand as DAZN Group, as part of a major restructure that reflects the ongoing global growth of its DAZN OTT brand.

The London-based group has announced plans to consolidate is activities into two distinct brands, which will sit underneath the DAZN Group umbrella: DAZN and Perform Content. 

The move is designed to support efforts to drive the continued growth of properties that include consumer-facing editorial platforms such as Goal.com and SportingNews, as well as B2B products such as Opta and RunningBall. 

DAZN Group executive chairman John Skipper explained: “We have two enormous growth opportunities but they are distinct from each other. Consequently, we are re-organising to create dedicated management and standalone teams, each with a clear and focused agenda and mission. 

“We have an incredible opportunity to exploit significant shifts in sports media to drive great products to sports fans and create a company with ever more influence on the new sports media universe”.

DAZN will become the group’s consumer-facing division, including the DAZN streaming platform itself as well as websites Goal.com, SportingNews, and Spox.com, which the company says will increasingly focus on driving traffic to the OTT service, while providing advertisers with integrated inventory and packages.

Following the changes, DAZN Group will be led by CEO and founder Simon Denyer, supported by new CFO Stuart Epstein, formerly NBC Universal CFO, who also brings a 20-year track record at Morgan Stanley. James Rushton will take on a wider role as DAZN’s chief revenue officer, responsible for all products, revenue, and marketing.

DAZN’s sister division, Perform Content, will be responsible for the group’s B2B activities – providing sports data, news and video to broadcasters, digital companies and sports books.

As part of the changes, Perform Content is to be given more resources and autonomy to invest in its primary products: Opta, Watch & Bet and RunningBall.

Perform Content CEO Ross MacEacharn will continue in the role and will be joined by Ashley Milton as Perform Content chief financial officer.

The two brands will each have their own governance and leadership but report into one board, chaired by John Skipper. DAZN and Perform Content will collaborate closely on a commercial basis. DAZN will use Perform Content data to power its products. Perform Content will continue to leverage and add value to global rights acquired by DAZN, according to a press release announcing the restructure.

DAZN Group CEO and founder, Simon Denyer, commented: “Perform Group has been one of the defining companies of the sports industry over the last decade. The exceptional growth and execution of DAZN in its first seven markets means we need to focus our efforts around our primary growth engine. 

“Our B2B division continues to grow but now is the time for it to have its own separate identity and investment plan. We are delighted that it will continue to use the Perform name.”

The group has confirmed that DAZN will remain the main rights holding company for the group including its long-term partnerships with strategic partners such as WTA, FIBA, COMNEBOL, Matchroom Boxing, NFL and EHF.

Sir Leonard Blavatnik’s Access Industries, the privately held group with global investments in multiple sectors, will continue to be the major shareholder of DAZN Group, supporting the growth of both brands.

The restructure follows the launch of the DAZN streaming platform in the US last week, followed by news of plans to establish a major new R&D and production base in the Netherlands.