ESPN, the leading digital sports brand globally, has appointed Ventra Media Group as its advertising sales representative in Nigeria, as ESPN looks to expand advertising sales solutions in West Africa’s most populous nation.
Ventra Media Group specialises in delivering digital marketing and commercialisation services for premium brands and rights owners in Africa. Headed by CEO Daryn Wober, Ventra features a team with extensive experience in the digital media space who have worked extensively in advertising, marketing and business development in emerging markets.
“We’ve got a fantastic, engaged and passionate sports audience in Nigeria, which is growing significantly and using mobile devices to connect with ESPN more and more,” said Charly Classen, vice president and general manager, ESPN EMEA. “We’re excited to be working with Ventra now to try and deliver great solutions for brands that want to reach this emerging market and connect with its sports fans through our respected, industry-leading content.”
Added Daryn Wober, CEO,, Ventra Media Group “With the rapid growth of web and mobile usage, brands in Nigeria are increasingly searching for premium sites through which they can reach their target audience. We’re pleased to be bringing a new opportunity to market in collaboration with one of the world’s leading sports brands. Ventra’s extensive relationships on the ground in Nigeria place it in a unique position to deliver value for content and technology companies such as ESPN.”
The appointment comes as ESPN has seen success and growth across its global digital media business in 2013, closing the year again as the leading global digital sports brand. Nigeria has been a part of that growth, with Nigerian sports fans logging nearly 828 million minutes and 116 million visits to ESPN digital media properties in 2013, led by the company’s global football brand ESPNFC. Additionally:
- Total Visits to ESPN properties via mobile devices increased 23 percent compared to 2012.
- Digital video, though still an emerging content sector in Africa, also grew strongly in 2013. Digital video starts grew to nearly 6 million, a more than 15X increase compared to just a year prior.
Mobile will be an increasingly significant advertising platform in the market in years ahead, with research by Informa Telecoms and Media suggesting that Nigeria is projected to have more than 187 million Smartphone and 3G/4G mobile connections by 2016 – representing nearly one for every person.
ESPN’s digital media content and expertise is well-established around the world. Globally, fans logged 154.5 billion minutes with ESPN digital properties via online and mobile devices (not including video). There were a total of 17.4 billion global visits*, an increase of 14 percent compared to 2012. Globally, ESPN ranks as the number one online sports brand in terms of average minute audience in 2013, and ESPN’s mobile properties now account for 41 percent of total digital (non-video) minutes in 2013. In addition:
- ONLINE: ESPN’s combined websites reached an average of 62.1 million unique visitors a month via computers alone (desktop + laptop), with non-US markets making up 42 percent of the total. This is up 15 percent in average monthly unique visitors when comparing to 2012.*
- MOBILE: Mobile properties made up 41 percent of total digital minutes (non-video) in 2013, and mobile visits increased 24 percent globally from 2012.*
- VIDEO: 2.3 billion online global video starts were registered in 2013, up 15 percent year-on-year, while outside the US, online video achieved an +80 percent increase compared to 2012.*
About Ventra Media Group
Ventra Media Group is a digital marketing and rights agency that specialises in building sport and entertainment brands on digital platforms in Africa. Founded by ex-senior executives from Perform Group, IMG and Octagon the business assists rights owners to generate revenue (advertising & sponsorship and subscriptions) from digital platforms and brands to connect with their audiences through engaging mobile propositions (concept, development, production and management). Clients currently include Chelsea FC, Nokia, Heineken, Gulder and DSTV.