_wige MEDIA obtains share in sport media group

German media service provider _wige MEDIA has become a shareholder in sport media group GmbH, operator of web portals www.motorsport-total.com and www.formel1.de. In the deal – for which financial details have not been disclosed – the Cologne-based company takes a 16.7% stake from main shareholder B&M Marketing and secures the option to purchase a total of up to 85%. B&M Marketing will remain the main shareholder with 68.3% for the time being.

With a total staff of more than 250 employees, the _wige group includes associate company named _wige Broadcast which, as a pure broadcast service provider, undertakes compete TV production of sports events such as the DTM, the GT Masters and the VELUX EHF Champions League handball championship.

Motor sport is one of Wige’s primary activities. For some 35 years _wige Solutions GmbH has been based in Meuspath, close to the Nurburgring. With the Grand Prix race track, the North loop and a length of 24.3 km (about 39 miles), the Nurburgring is the longest race track in the world. Among the large events covered by the company as a full-service provider for video equipment, lighting and sound are the Formula One, the Nurburgring 24 Hours, the Truck Grand Prix and concerts.

Further fields of activity include the technical equipment of exhibition booths at Photokina, CeBIT, GamesCom and many other trade fairs in Germany and abroad, as well as international press conferences, when automobile manufacturers such as Audi present their latest car models to the public.

Landmark contract

In 2014 _wige Solutions GmbH secured a major international contract with a value of 13 million euros. This saw the company supply the complete media infrastructure, race track monitoring and intercom systems, and the monitoring and TV signal distribution for the new Formula One race track in Sochi, Russia. The 70 fixed employees in Meuspath took care of the central coordination, while further service providers were recruited in Russia.

“_wige MEDIA AG is our favoured partner in order to build up synergies,” state Stefan Müller and Wolfgang Berghofer, CEOs, B&M Marketing GmbH. “Wige is providing us with highly attractive motorsport content. Furthermore, they strengthen our partnership with their editorial and technological expertise in the digital area.”

B&M Marketing is the exclusive marketing agency for all magazines produced by the automobile publishing house Axel Springer Auto Verlag. Taking a stake in this company gives _wige MEDIA AG the possibility of generating new marketing synergies for its content. Founded in 1997, the web portals motorsport-total.com and formel1.de have about 1.2m unique users, as well as 32m page impressions per month. The sport media group is licence holder of the Formula One World Championshp and has official partnerships with many other race series such as DTM, FIA ERC, NASCAR.com, FIA European Rally Championship and FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).

“With B&M Marketing, we start with the strongest distribution power in the German-speaking automobile medium area,” sums up Frank Hohmann, business consultant FHC Marketing, Frankfurt, who will also step in to serve as interim manager. “Together with the _wige MEDIA AG we see a huge growth potential, [including] internationally.”

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