'Sports Illustrated' Buys FanNation.com

Wants to Join Web 2.0 Space With Social Site

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Visibly delivering on its promise to spend more on digital platforms, Time Inc. said today that its Sports Illustrated Group has signed an agreement to buy FanNation.com. The site, part of Sports Technologies, aggregates sports content and allows visitors to generate their own. Terms were not disclosed.
As part of the deal, 'SI' will get the first crack at Fan Nation's resources.
As part of the deal, 'SI' will get the first crack at Fan Nation's resources.

Minority stake
"This acquisition will enable the SI Group to compete in the Web 2.0 space, deliver an unparalleled experience for the millions of sports fans who visit SI.com each month and attract new fans interested in this engaging platform," said Mark Ford, president-publisher of the SI Group, in a statement.

As part of the deal, moreover, Time Inc. is buying a minority stake in the remaining assets of Sports Technologies, including its aggregation tools, community platforms and fantasy-game engines. Sports Illustrated gets first crack at those resources, but Time Inc. plans to eventually apply them elsewhere in its portfolio.

Going social
"Time Inc.'s investment in [Sports Technologies] is perfectly aligned with our digital strategy -- to enable consumers to access our content across all digital platforms and engage with our brands through personalized and customized online experiences," said John Squires, senior exec VP, Time Inc. "[Sports Technologies] will be invaluable to Time Inc. as we move beyond conventional publishing online into social forms of media, an area of major emphasis for us this year."

Time Inc., the country's largest magazine publisher, has been pursuing cost cuts and reallocating investment toward interactive properties. It recently announced the elimination of 289 jobs and struck a deal to sell 18 magazines.

SI.com attracted nearly 7.1 million unique visitors in December, according to Nielsen/NetRatings; traffic to FanNation.com falls below the minimum level for Nielsen measurement.
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