Yahoo has announced the acquisition of sports network Citizen Sports.
Kara Swisher predicted as such earlier this week. Here’s how she described it:
Citizen Sports started off in 2005 as ProTrade, an “athlete stock market entertainment company,” with $10 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partners Kevin Compton and Doug Mackenzie through Radar Ventures.
Other investors included Kleiner Perkins partner Will Hearst, said the Citizen Sports Web site, “as well as major sports figures, including former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and three-time Super Bowl champ Troy Aikman; Arizona Diamondbacks General Partner Jeff Moorad; legendary NFL Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh; and Northgate Capital Venture founder Brent Jones, the former all-pro San Francisco 49ers tight end.”
But the site has morphed into an innovative digital enabler of interaction among fans of all kinds of sports, via its fantasy sports games and Sportacular iPhone app, as well as numerous apps on Facebook.
And here’s the announcement:
As part of its ongoing commitment to be the centre of people’s online lives, Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Citizen Sports (www.citizensports.com), a company that brings the world of sports to fans’ favourite social networking sites and mobile devices through innovative applications. This acquisition will strengthen Yahoo!’s social strategy of enriching, aggregating and distributing social content from across the entire Web, and offering a highly customisable social experience.
“Yahoo! is in a unique position to combine our deep expertise in content and aggregation technology to offer a highly personalised social experience,” said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president, Consumer Products Group, Yahoo!. “Sports has been among the earliest online categories to experience rapid social proliferation, and the combination of Citizen Sports leading products with our world-class sports experience on Yahoo! Sports is a win-win for sports fans globally.”
Millions of people across the globe use Citizen Sports’ array of social and mobile products to play fantasy sports, fill out brackets, check live scores and read up-to-the minute news on sports including football, hockey, soccer, baseball, racing, rugby, hockey and cricket. Yahoo! Sports’ content will be integrated into these products, creating a seamless experience for sports fans wherever they are. On Yahoo! Sports, users will be able to broadcast their allegiances, create or join a conversation with friends and fans and cheer for their teams through Citizen Sports’ applications. This integration will further transform Yahoo! into a more personally relevant experience, drive deeper user engagement and create opportunities for advertisers to interact with audiences in new environments.
As the #1 destination for online Sports with more than 39 million monthly unique users in the U.S.*, Yahoo! Sports provides people with the most timely, relevant and comprehensive sports news, information and programming. Citizen Sports’ network of popular applications for Facebook, MySpace, hi5, iPhone and Android span professional, college and high school sports.
“Citizen Sports was founded with the intent to enable fans to access news, scores and fantasy games on the platform of their choice,” said Mike Kerns, founder and CEO of Citizen Sports. “We look forward to becoming a part of Yahoo! and bringing our social experiences to their 600 million users around the globe.”
Citizen Sports was founded by Mike Kerns and Jeff Ma in 2004. Since then the company has brought together millions of sports fans from around the world to enjoy sports and connect with their friends. Citizen Sports is based in San Francisco.
Yahoo! expects to complete this acquisition in the second quarter of 2010. Financial terms were not disclosed.