WAVE.tv, the sports entertainment company for today’s fan, today announced a strategic partnership with IMG, a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media. The deal will see WAVE.tv’s portfolio of digital media brands distribute content from IMG owned and represented sports properties including Euroleague Basketball, Edge Sport and World’s Strongest Man, across Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and YouTube.
The agreement will dramatically increase the volume of traditional and non-traditional sports programming available on WAVE.tv’s media brands, including ‘WAVE TV,’ ‘Benchmob,’ ‘The Pump,’ ‘Buckets,’ ‘No Limits,’ and more. It will also create new direct and programmatic advertising revenue for both parties, while providing IMG’s properties with a steady stream of organic coverage and engagement with Gen Z and Millennial audiences.
In addition to distributing IMG sports content, WAVE.tv will take ownership of direct and programmatic sales related to the deal.
“Sports is this universal language that connects people from all over the world and creates authentic experiences for fans,” said Brian Verne, co-founder and CEO, WAVE.tv. “We continually seek fandoms to bring content and awareness to all genres of sports for today’s fan. Partnering with IMG allows us to continue to celebrate these unique moments and fandoms on a substantial scale and provide fans with an even larger community and sense of belonging. This is just the beginning of a bright and exciting future for us all.”
This new deal broadens and strengthens an already successful relationship built between the two companies over the last 18 months, which began with distributing World’s Strongest Man (WSM) across ‘WAVE TV,’ ‘Highlights WAVE,’ ‘Greatest Highlights,’ and WSM-focused Snap show ‘The Pump.’ The partnership was a way to test how WAVE.tv fans would respond to the non-traditional sport and gauge the viability of The Pump as a new standalone media brand. In a 12-month period, WSM content generated more than 345 million views, and the Pump now has a dedicated fanbase and is one of the company’s top performing properties.
Rebecca Levin, Director, Media at IMG, said: “While working together on World’s Strongest Man, we quickly realized that WAVE.tv and its digital platforms provide a unique opportunity for our brands to engage with today’s sports fans in entertaining new ways. Storytelling and creating memorable experiences are at the core of what we both do, and we’re excited to be providing more content and access for fans than ever before as we extend our partnership to include other IMG properties.”
In building a modern-day sports entertainment company, WAVE.tv has become the 4th largest sports media entity in the US and fastest growing overall, globally (per Shareablee.) Generating over 3.2 billion monthly views, WAVE.tv has over 60 million followers and subscribers, reaching over 200 million sports fans each month.
“This deal is a real sign of the times where IMG and WAVE.tv were able to combine forces and jointly focus on a massive shift that’s happening in the sports media landscape. The modern sports fan (18-34) consumes 90-95% of their sports content on core and emerging social media platforms. Digital native fans are taking over the sports world and they’re unlike any fans we’ve ever seen” said Greg Bobolo, SVP Strategy & Partnerships, WAVE.tv. “I’m thrilled to be able to work with such an esteemed company as IMG to develop and distribute programming for this next generation of sports fans. This is a one-of-a-kind and incredibly strong marketing partnership that has already delivered over 600 million views on pace to surpass 1 billion this year and it’s just getting started.”