S3i Digital and Circle Media Announce Merger

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Combined Entity Will Deliver Audience Relationship Management Platform for Sports, Entertainment and Brands

S3i Digital and Circle Media, Inc. today announced its merger. The merger combines S3i Digital’s well-known sports marketing and technology expertise with Circle Media’s core competencies in big data, social commerce and marketing. Together, the combined entity, with offices in New York and Austin, TX, will deliver a comprehensive Audience Relationship Management platform customized for sports, entertainment and brand sponsors. The insights gleaned from the platform will help clients and their agencies create amazing fan experiences through targeted messaging and engagement opportunities.

The company will take on the name Circle Media, reflecting its focus on helping clients “connect the dots” between big data, sports and entertainment. Circle Media will showcase its newly integrated solutions first at the IMG Intercollegiate (IAF) Conference in NYC from December 11-12, 2013. http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Conferences-Events/2013/2013-Intercollegiate-Athletics-Forum.aspx

“From our years of experience, we know what college and professional sports businesses need to improve engagement with their fans,” said Randy Eccker, Circle Media CEO and chairman. “Combining our technology with Circle Media gives our clients a competitive advantage to compete like commercial enterprises.”

With Circle Media combining data sources across transaction, social media, survey and other systems, clients will be empowered to understand the engagement, impact and value of their audiences in a way that keeping their data in silos would not have allowed. Given partnerships and/or integrations with technology leaders like HootSuite, Twitter and Facebook (as a Facebook Developer Partner), Circle's solutions will allow brands and properties to more effectively answer key questions such as:

  • Who attends other than the ticket buyer?
  • How do fans respond to sponsors?
  • What do they share?
  • Why do they come back (or not)?

Sports and entertainment clients are already benefiting from Circle Media's solutions and services to maximize their sponsorship investment at events. “Brands like Microsoft and Virgin Mobile are investing in connecting to the passion of sports and music fans through experiential marketing, but have had to do so with a high degree of ‘gut-feel’ decision-making,” said Mark Piening, Circle Media President and founder. “We take their relevant first and third party data sources to ‘connect the dots’ so they can ultimately capture more value from their audiences.”

"Circle Media's digital magazine platform creates brand new "fan engagement" digital inventory for our partners and provides our athletic department deep intelligence about our fans,” said Tim Curran, Senior Associate Athletic Director, St. Joseph’s University. “Now we can know more about our audience and find the fans that are attending and engaging with our content. This drives new revenue and creates better fan experiences."

“Mother New York invested in Circle Media because it offers a solution to a problem no one has been solving effectively,” said Andrew Deitchman, Founding Partner of Mother New York. “As an agency known for creating amazing brand experiences for some of the world’s most successful brands, we expect our clients and peers to be excited at the prospect of being able to get closer to their audiences through digital and data.“

Circle Media includes executives from Accenture, Microsoft, Dell, Bazaarvoice, Symantec, Nestlé, Draftfcb, Nelligan, XOS Sports and Van Wagner. Upon formation, Circle Media chose to become part of the portfolio of the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) of the University of Texas, which has successfully incubated a number of leading marketing and social media technology companies like Spredfast, which has a social media software product in use with 250 customers in 35 countries.

“Circle Media’s team is a great example of experienced technology and business executives with a clear vision and plan joining ATI, executing and driving results,” said Kyle Cox, Director, IT and Wireless, Austin Technology Incubator. “To see them earn the pedigree of sports, music and brand clients so quickly is a testament to the kind of combined creativity and discipline we are working to foster at ATI and in the Austin community."

About Circle Media:
Jointly headquartered in New York City and Austin, TX, Circle Media is the combined entity of S3i Digital, a sports marketing and digital agency, and Circle Media, a software-as-a-service platform that measures audience engagement for brands and properties. Circle Media’s Audience Relationship Management helps brands, sports and entertainment properties and their agencies build audience, increase revenue and create amazing fan experiences. More specifically, Circle Media provides the platform to identify, build and enrich audience profiles across systems, engage the right audience with compelling messages through the right channels, and amplify existing conversations to attract new fans. Circle Media clients include leading sports, entertainment and Fortune 50 brands. Circle Media helps clients and agencies “circle the answers”. circlemedia.com.

About the Austin Technology Incubator:
The Austin Technology Incubator harnesses business, government and academic resources to provide strategic counsel, operational guidance and infrastructural support for its member companies to help them transition into successful, high-growth technology businesses. The Austin Technology Incubator, in the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, has a 25-year history of successful new venture support with a focus on getting startups funded. ATI has helped more than 250 companies raise over $1 billion of investor capital. More than 85% of ATI's 2012 graduating class received funding totaling more than $200 million. ATI has a dual mission: promote economic development in Central Texas through entrepreneurial wealth and job creation, and provide a “teaching laboratory” in applied entrepreneurship for UT-Austin students and faculty.

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Laura Beck
Circle Media
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