Ascend Advises DirectAthletics in its Acquisition by FloSports

The transaction forms the largest and most comprehensive database of Track & Field videos, meet coverage, results, and rankings in North America.

TYSONS, VA (June 13, 2023) – Ascend Capital Group (“Ascend”) is pleased to announce its most recent transaction in the SportsTech space serving as the exclusive financial advisor to DirectAthletics (“DA”), an industry leader in timed sports event registration and data management, in its acquisition by FloSports (“Flo”), a leader in sports streaming and original content.

Founded in 2000, DirectAthletics is a pioneer in the timed sports software industry. Today its event registration platform, along with its meet management software, MeetPro, are used by over 10,000 events a year. DirectAthletics’ TFRRS platform serves as the official hub of Track & Field results and rankings for the NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, and multiple state high school associations throughout the country. The acquisition will combine DirectAthletics’ technology suite with FloSports’ live and on-demand programming, rankings, and content under one umbrella. As part of the acquisition, DirectAthletics co-founders Dave Stelnik and Jason Kronstat will join the FloSports team.

“Simply put, we couldn’t have done this without Ascend,” said Dave Stelnik, CEO and Co-Founder of DirectAthletics. “The team’s guidance and expertise were indispensable to us at every step of the journey, and their disciplined approach helped keep everyone on track throughout the process. The intentional way they strategically positioned our business ensured we found the right partner.”

Stelnik added, “The coaches, timers, meet directors, and athletes who make up our longtime customer base are what make this sport great, and it has been an honor to work with them since the founding of DA. We are thrilled that by joining forces with FloSports, we can expand our reach, offer new capabilities, and create a unified, essential destination for Track & Field and the broader Running community.”

The powerhouse combination of FloSports and DirectAthletics fortifies Flo’s position as the market leader and dominant force in the endurance market while extending its “flywheel” and driving synergies through relationships, technology, and a shared philosophy.

“Track & Field and Cross Country are part of the FloSports heritage and continue to be a priority for our company,” said FloSports CEO and Co-Founder, Mark Floreani. “This moment marks a significant investment in the vertical through the combination of DirectAthletics’ industry-leading software and our expansive audience and reach through FloTrack and MileSplit. We are excited for the future and honored to welcome DA to the team as we work to take these sports to the next level.”

There continues to be a strong demand for software platforms that increase the efficiency of the wide variety of stakeholders interacting with various sports by unifying the tracking and reporting of athlete, event, and team data; event registration; and payment processing. This demand resulted in record M&A deal volume last year within the global SportsTech industry, and thus far, in 2023, strong consolidation and a significant flow of investment. While fan engagement, AI, ticketing, and venue management are popular areas for M&A and financing activity, innovation has begun to seep downstream to address broader, mainstream community sports needs.

DJ Palmer, Managing Director at Ascend, commented, “This deal was particularly exciting and personal to me and many members of our team who ran cross country and track & field in high school, college, and post-collegiately. We grew up using MileSplit, FloTrack, and DirectAthletics’ platforms. To see the progression of innovation and be part of this combination is truly special. DirectAthletics built an incredible software platform that has become a household name across the running community. The partnership with FloSports creates a preeminent platform that will enhance the end-to-end experience for fans, athletes, coaches, governing bodies, timers, and meet directors across the nation.”

The transaction was announced on June 5, 2023.

Contact

Douglas Palmer, Jr. (“DJ”)

dpalmer@ascendcg.com | 703.509.2845

Simply put, we couldn’t have done this without Ascend. The team’s guidance and expertise were indispensable to us at every step of the journey, and their disciplined approach helped keep everyone on track throughout the process. The intentional way they strategically positioned our business ensured we found the right partner.

About DirectAthletics
About DirectAthletics

DirectAthletics is a leading provider of event and data management technology for timed sports. Founded by three college runners, DirectAthletics has grown to serve thousands of schools, leagues, and governing bodies across North America. For over a decade, its TFRRS platform has set the standard for official data management in Track & Field and Cross Country, automating rankings and qualification for all of college and junior college, and an increasing number of high school state associations. For more information, visit directathletics.com, tfrrs.org, and tfmeetpro.com.

About FloSports
About FloSports

Founded in 2006, FloSports is a subscription video streaming service dedicated to sports, offering live and on-demand access to hundreds of thousands of competition events across 25+ vertical sport categories in the US and abroad. FloSports’ vision is to give underserved sports the love they deserve. With a growing library of more than 300,000 hours of premium content including news, expert commentary, films, documentaries and more, FloSports has established itself as an innovator and leader in sports streaming. Finally, your sport has a home. For more information, visit flosports.tv.

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