Industry News 4/29/2008

SPORTNET Surfs Into Acquisition of Action Water Sports Portal WETSAND.COM

SPORTNET Rides Wave of Interest in Surfing with Acquisition of Action Water Sports Portal WETSAND.COM
Deal Coincides with Launch of Groundbreaking Surf Forecasting and Weather Visualization System SwellWatch 3D

In a deal that brings together the world’s most trusted surf portal with the world’s most comprehensive online sports network, Sportnet has acquired Wetsand.com, it was announced today by Ron Bension, Chief Executive Officer of Sportnet and Chuck Menzel, founder and President of Wetsand.com.  Sportnet is owned by Wasserman Media Group, a worldwide leader in sports management, marketing and content.

The announcement coincides with Wetsand’s launch of SwellWatch 3D, the most advanced online surf forecasting and weather visualization system. This groundbreaking service will provide three-dimensional, near-shore modeling covering the top breaks in North America, Hawaii, Central America and Europe at a greater resolution than any previous system.

Sportnet’s robust production and technology capabilities will allow Wetsand.com to add high-quality video and event coverage to the valuable services it currently provides surfing enthusiasts. The deal also will provide Wetsand with sponsorship and promotional partnership opportunities through Sportnet and Wasserman Media Group’s worldwide sales and marketing network. The site offers advertisers effective but non-invasive ways to reach Wetsand’s growing and loyal user base, while remaining true to the heritage, culture and values that have made the site so popular with surfers.

“Sportnet and Wasserman Media Group share our respect for the surf community,” said Menzel. “We’ve built our reputation by offering accurate surf forecasting that is easy to use and graphically appealing. This deal will allow us supplement those offerings with a whole new world of content possibilities.”

Since starting out as the first free email surf report in 1998, Ventura, California-based Wetsand.com has steadily grown into one of the most frequented websites for action water sport enthusiasts, attracting about 250,000 unique visitors and 3 million page views per month. 

“Even without the benefit of video or event content, Wetsand has developed a large, devoted following,” said Bension. “By adding Sportnet’s world-class media and sales capabilities, the site has a tremendous opportunity to establish itself as the No. 1 online destination for the worldwide surfing community.”