By Sahil Patel
Pitch International, a London-based marketing agency that controls media rights for a number of international sports organizations and governing bodies including the Football Association in England, has made an investment in Copa90, one of the biggest independent soccer networks online.
Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed. As part of the deal, Copa90 and its parent company Bigballs Films will produce fan-centric video content at matches and tournaments organized by Pitch International, with the purpose of distributing those clips on digital and social platforms during and after the matches.
Bigballs and Pitch will also offer various branded content and sponsorship packages that allow the rights-holders airing the games and the brands sponsoring them to get involved.
Copa90’s digital network reaches 7.5 million fans every week, says Bigballs Films. The network includes the flagship Copa90 YouTube channel, which has more than 920,000 subscribers, and KickTV, a US soccer channel with 960,000 subscribers on YouTube that Bigballs acquired from MLS earlier this year.
Pitch International boasts a client base that includes the Football Association, the Football League, the governing bodies for the Brazilian and Argentine national soccer teams, and Chelsea FC.
The partnership kicks off tonight, during the international friendly between Brazil and France at the Stade de France.
Copa90 has partnered with Viber, a mobile messaging service that also allows users to distribute videos and photos a la WhatsApp, to distribute exclusive content from inside the stadium via Copa90’s Viber Public Chat. Thanks to Pitch, Copa90 will have complete access to the match, providing original videos from pitch-side and in and around the stadium, hosted by personalities Poet, David Vujanic, and Eli Mengem.
Following tonight’s tilt, Copa90 will do the same for Brazil’s friendly with Chile later this week, as well as other events the agency promotes, including the FA Cup, the Capital One Cup, and next year’s centennial Copa América tournament.
The Viber deal reflects the fan-centric nature of what Copa90 does for soccer fans — providing original content about the sport outside of the expensive 90 minutes that take place on the field.
The Pitch investment and partnership brings Copa90 access to those expensive 90 minutes. “Our interest in Copa90 was initially sparked by the large, engaged audience they have attracted through a mix of fan-focused video and the unique way they worked with brands like Hyundai, HTC, and Adidas to unlock the content that fans were looking for,” said Jonathan Rogers, managing director of Pitch International. “Pitch’s investment in Copa90 presents a major strategic opportunity for us, our clients, federations, and media partners. We are excited to introduce Copa90 into the Pitch set-up and look forward to a successful partnership in years to come.”