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ESPN Announces Acquisition of Rise Magazine Publisher

Thursday, December 20, 2007 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 7:00 PM, under , ,

Bristol, CT (Dec 20, 2007) - ESPN has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire SchoolSports Inc., a leading high school-focused sports and lifestyle media company. SchoolSports reaches teen athletes and fans through RISE, Gridiron, Hardwood and GIRL magazines; RISE Events, which produces the Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic, one of the nation’s premier high school basketball events; and, an online destination for teen athletes and fans that provides updated high school sports news.

SchoolSports CEO Jim Kaufman will continue to run SchoolSports, and will report to ESPN’s James Brown, senior vice president, New Program Development and Gary Hoenig, editor in chief, ESPN The Magazine and general manager, ESPN Publishing. The business will continue to operate from Boston, Mass. and New York, N.Y.

“ESPN’s acquisition of SchoolSports and its assets represents our continued commitment to providing our core fans with compelling high school sports content which will be used across all ESPN platforms,” said Brown. “We plan to grow our 12- to 17-year-old audience with a complementary fan base of student-athletes and their fans."

RISE Magazine, SchoolSports’ core asset, is one of the nation’s largest high school sports publications. RISE publishes 25 regionally customized issues nine times a year; featuring more than 200 cover stories, as well as athlete profiles, lifestyle content and one of the largest collections of photographs of the nation’s top athletes. The magazine has a circulation of 910,000 and a readership of 1.9 million.

“It is an exciting time for SchoolSports, its assets and ESPN,” said Kaufman. “We are thrilled to be joining the ESPN family and look forward to growing our properties and sharing our unique high school content with a larger fan base.”

Hoenig said: “The addition of RISE and SchoolSports’ other assets will be a great complement to our publishing offerings and will seamlessly translate across ESPN’s platforms. These assets present compelling content and have a unique community of fans that fits in organically with ESPN The Magazine’s ‘Next’ brand.”

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