Philly blog CrossingBroad acquired by sports betting-driven publisher XLMedia

Philadelphia sports blog CrossingBroad has been acquired by XLMedia, a United Kingdom-based digital performance publisher whose verticals include online gambling, personal finance and sports.

CrossingBroad founder Kyle Scott explained the deal in a blog post Thursday afternoon, calling the legalization of sports betting in Pennsylvania the moment the site transformed from a “sustainable lifestyle business” into a “scaleable opportunity.”

Scott launched CrossingBroad as a career gamble in 2009, moving into his parents’ basement to get it off the ground. The site’s popularity grew over time, bolstered by local events and T-shirt sales, but remained at the mercy of Google Surveys to generate sustainable revenue. When Google pivoted the program to its own sites, Scott and co-founder Jason Ziernicki sought out other ways to monetize.

Sports betting was legalized in Pennsylvania in November 2018 after the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, opening the floodgates to media partnerships centered around sports betting.

“I knew, having a background in affiliate marketing, how much sportsbooks would be willing to pay to reach sports fans. We were positioned perfectly to match our audience with them,” Scott said. “That became our business model and it’s what I’ve spent the last two years doing.”

Scott added that the deal will not change much about the day-to-day workings of the site.

CrossingBroad previously had acquired EliteSportsNY.com, a similar website in a state where XLMedia anticipates sports betting may soon be legal.

CrossingBroad also owns and operates the sports betting and gaming focused sites PASportsbooks.com, BetNewJersey.com, ActionRush.com and PromoCodeKings.com.

“It is great to have acquired such an attractive set of assets during an inflection point for the U.S. sports betting market,” XLMedia CEO Stuart Simms said. “On some estimates, almost 60% of the U.S. population is set to have legal access to sports betting by the end of 2022 – this could include New York, where one of the key assets, EliteSportsNY.com, is focused.”

In acquiring CrossingBroad, XLMedia will pay an upfront consideration of $12 million in cash, new XLMedia shares representing an aggregate value of $3.5 million, and potential future contingent consideration of up to an additional $9.5 million, according to a press release announcing the deal.

“It’s exciting to be able to establish such a meaningful presence in the U.S. through the CBWG acquisition,” said Ken Dorward, XLMedia’s president of North America. “With the U.S. sports betting market on the rise, leveraging the respective skills sets of our teams with the CBWG portfolio of sites and the XLMedia betting heritage should offer a powerful foundation for growth and scale.”

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