TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Playmaker Capital Inc. (TSXV: PMKR) (“Playmaker”), the digital sports media company that delivers authentic content experiences through its portfolio of sports media and technology brands, announced today that Playmaker subsidiary, The Nation Network (“TNN”) has launched two soccer-focused digital media properties, “Kicked Back” and “Sunday League Pundits”, under newly created parent brand, “The 90th Minute”.
The 90th Minute will be utilized as a foundation for an all-soccer platform within TNN, launching with Kicked Back and Sunday League Pundits, and will expand to include additional soccer-centric brands that are either acquired or created internally. In connection with the launch, Playmaker has announced that Caroline Szwed, a former member of the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team, and host for Rogers Sportsnet and Toronto FC, will serve as Chief Content Officer for The 90th Minute. Mrs. Szwed is a respected soccer pundit and creator with over 2.2M likes on TikTok and 125,000 followers cumulatively on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, and she will deliver North American soccer fans an authentic, insider’s perspective on the game. As a content creator in collaboration with the broader team in place under The 90th Minute brand, Mrs. Szwed will cover the most compelling developments from all major leagues, federations and tournaments to bolster soccer fandom in North America.
As evidenced in recent surveys by Ampere Analysis and Abacus Data, more than 49% of US sports fans and 40% of Canadian sports fans ‘like’ soccer, making it the fourth most popular sport in the US and the fastest growing sport across North America. In November 2021, Comcast renewed its broadcast rights deal for the English Premier League, and in June 2022, Apple and MLS agreed on a historic streaming rights deal providing further tailwinds for soccer’s popularity growth in the region. Moreover, the US, Canada, and Mexico have all qualified for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the first time that all three countries have qualified for the same World Cup, and the three nations will also host the tournament in 2026.
Playmaker is positioning itself to be the leading source for digital soccer content across the Americas and Playmaker brand, Futbol Sites, already ranks as the largest regional digital sports media group in Latin America. Recently, Playmaker acquired World Soccer Talk, its first US-based soccer property, and JuanFutbol, a widely popular sports media publisher in the Mexican and US Hispanic markets. The 90th Minute brand establishes Playmaker’s first Canadian-based soccer brand and together with Futbol Sites, World Soccer Talk, and JuanFutbol, solidifies Playmaker’s presence in all major North American soccer markets.
Kicked Back and Sunday League Pundits will serve as The 90th Minute’s flagship properties. Kicked Back, debuting in time for the build-up to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, is a twice weekly video podcast hosted by Mrs. Szwed that will feature other soccer experts from the TNN team as well as special guests from her network in the soccer world. In addition to the two weekly video podcast episodes, Kicked Back will produce daily soccer content across TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter that revolves around the most exciting and anticipated soccer storylines globally.
“As a former Canadian national team player and a Division I collegiate athlete, I've always said that football was my first real love. Ever since I was 10 years old, it's been the one sport that has captured my entire being,” said Caroline Szwed, Chief Content Officer of The 90th Minute. “In this newly formed role, I will be creating and delivering football news and content to our audience in authentic and engaging ways for fans across the world. Having the opportunity to bring over 20 years of football knowledge to Playmaker and TNN, with my experience as a nationally televised sports host, this next chapter is something that I'm extremely excited about.”
Sunday League Pundits, formerly The 90th Minute as a standalone business, was acquired by Playmaker in July 2022. Sunday League Pundits, led by a group of soccer fanatic friends, is a collection of soccer and lifestyle themed digital video, podcast, and social media channels, including a TikTok account that has generated 9 million likes and a YouTube channel with over 20,000 subscribers. Sunday League Pundits started as a university radio show and has quickly developed into a popular weekly podcast and live stream channel for professional soccer matches and esports events, providing analysis and breakdowns of all the action for its audiences across multiple social media platforms.
Adding The 90th Minute to TNN’s growing podcast network strengthens TNN’s bid to become the leading multi-sport and lifestyle attraction for sports fans across Canada and the US. TNN has built a highly engaged following of hockey fans across the region and by introducing soccer focused content, its audience will be given access to new soccer-centric personalities, digital entertainment, live events, and merchandise to interact with daily.
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FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
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