Pocket Outdoor Media Closes Major Acquisitions, Rebrands as Outside
February 22, 2021
Additions of Outside Integrated Media, Outside TV, Gaia GPS, athleteReg, and Peloton Magazine cement the company’s position as the new center of gravity for active lifestyle consumers.
Boulder, Colorado — February 22, 2021 — Pocket Outdoor Media (POM), the world’s leading creator of active lifestyle content and experiences, today announced the following acquisitions that significantly expand the scope of its audience and range of services provided to customers and partners:
- Outside Integrated Media, the iconic producer of award-winning adventure content and home to Outside magazine, Outside Studios, and the travel business Outside GO.
- Outside TV, the foremost provider of outdoor lifestyle TV and video programming across cable, satellite, and over-the-top networks.
- Gaia GPS, the leading mobile mapping and navigation application for backcountry adventurers and professionals.
- athleteReg, one of the world’s largest event registration platforms serving runners, triathletes, cyclists, and skiers.
- Peloton magazine, a highly respected source of inspirational storytelling and photography about the sport of cycling.
With respect to Outside TV, the closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval by the FCC of certain license transfer. The company expects the acquisition to close in the second quarter.
The company also announced that it has changed its name from Pocket Outdoor Media to Outside. These acquisitions were made possible by the closing of a Series B financing from investment partners that include Sequoia Heritage, JAZZ Ventures, Zone 5 Ventures, and NEXT Ventures. The financing and acquisition transactions will enable the company to make significant investments in audience, technology, and product development. Cooley LLP and Progress Partners advised the company with respect to the transactions.
Said Michael Moritz, who will be joining the Outside board of directors: “We’re investing in Outside because the management team has warmly embraced the future of information and entertainment on the internet. Just like Netflix and Amazon Prime, Outside will create and distribute distinctive content to a worldwide audience on any connected device. Better still, Outside will turbocharge the online programming of many of the most-loved fitness and health brands. As a longtime journalist and former ink-stained wretch, I’m now being granted the opportunity to start a new chapter—as a digital-stained wretch.”
The deals create a platform whose scale across television, mobile, desktop, and print is unparalleled in the outdoor, endurance, fitness, and wellness markets. The new additions join existing brands such as SKI, Yoga Journal, Women’s Running, Triathlete, Backpacker, Climbing, Clean Eating, VeloNews, Trail Runner, FinisherPix, Warren Miller Entertainment, and more.
“This is a transformational day for our company and our customers,” said Robin Thurston, CEO of the new Outside. “Everything we do is driven by a belief that a hike, run, ride, or yoga practice can change your life, and these new brands will help us fulfill our mission to build the world’s best consumer experience across a wide range of activities.”
“Each of these brands brings unique and powerful strengths to our network,” Thurston added. “The incredible reputation and relevance of the Outside brands across multiple lifestyle categories made our decision to change our company’s name a logical choice. Meanwhile, Gaia GPS and athleteReg significantly boost the ways we facilitate participation through best-in-class tools and services. And as a lifelong cyclist, I’m personally thrilled to welcome Peloton, one of my go-to reads for its evocative celebrations of the sport. With these moves, we can now deliver world-class content 24/7 to almost every home in America across every platform, screen, and device. My team and I are deeply honored to help write the next chapter for these iconic businesses.”
“Like Robin, I’ve always believed in the power of great storytelling,” said Larry Burke, founder, Chairman, and Editor-in-Chief of Outside Integrated Media, which reaches 38 million people a month across all platforms. “When we published our first issue of Outside magazine in 1977, we helped give birth to what is now a $887 billion outdoor industry, and we’ve been pioneering the art of adventure ever since. Our stories have won awards in print, video, and film, and we’ve inspired millions of people to ‘live bravely.’ It’s everything I could’ve wanted to do with my life, and I’m delighted to find such a good home for Outside among POM’s outdoor brands.” Burke, who won the Outdoor Industry Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, is set to tackle his next project—a book about his life—while continuing to pursue his passion for living an active outside life.
The new businesses will continue operating out of their existing locations and will immediately begin working on a range of synergies that the company’s technology platform makes possible. Most significantly, the acquisitions bring new benefits to the company’s Active Pass membership, a fast-growing, $99 per year offering that gives consumers access to hundreds of dollars in value in the form of premium digital content, print subscriptions, event entries and photography, books, gear discounts, a personalized feed, and interactive experiences with editors, pro athletes, coaches, and other experts.
About Pocket Outdoor Media (New Company Name: Outside)
Pocket Outdoor Media (POM) is the world’s leading creator of active lifestyle content and experiences. Across web, print, podcast, social, video, and TV, our brands reach 70 million of the most active and influential consumers in the world every month. Our brands include: Outside Integrated Media, OutsideTV, Gaia GPS, athleteReg, Peloton Magazine, Yoga Journal, SKI, BACKPACKER, VeloNews, Climbing, Rock & Ice, Gym Climber, Trail Runner, Women’s Running, Triathlete, Better Nutrition, Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, Clean Eating, Fly Fishing Film Tour, IDEA Health and Fitness Association, Muscle & Performance, NASTAR, National Park Trips, NatuRx, Oxygen, PodiumRunner, Roll Massif, SNEWS, The Voice, Vegetarian Times, VeloPress, VeloSwap, Paleo Mag, Beta, FinisherPix, and Warren Miller Entertainment. Pocket Outdoor Media is headquartered in Boulder, with offices in Denver, Carbondale, Easthampton (MA), Frankfurt, New York City, Ojai, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Toronto. Learn more at PocketOutdoorMedia.com.
About Outside Integrated Media
Since 1977, Outside has been about one simple idea: to inspire active participation in the world outside. With in-depth narrative storytelling, profiles, videos, and authoritative service, it explores the intersection between our lives and the natural world. Across print, digital, social, and video, Outside reaches millions of the world’s most passionate outdoor enthusiasts every month. Based in Santa Fe, it also operates offices in Denver, Boulder, Chicago, and New York City. Learn more at OutsideOnline.com.
OutsideTV is the leading video provider for the adventure sports and outdoor lifestyle category. OutsideTV delivers high-quality, compelling storylines focused on a wide variety of sports including: skiing & snowboarding, surfing, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and more. OutsideTV’s Emmy Award-winning content is distributed through multiple platforms, including national cable, satellite, and OTT networks, outsidetv.com, social media, and mobile apps. It operates offices in Connecticut and New York City. Learn more at OutsideTV.com.
About Gaia GPS
Gaia GPS is the world’s leading backcountry mapping app. It has a big tent of users, including backpackers, backcountry skiers, offroaders, and crazy folks who lead Everest expeditions, skate across Arctic ice, and walk thousands of miles in a single hike. The company is built with hard work, sage advice, and kind attention from its current team, along with a great group of advisors and past employees. Learn more at GaiaGPS.com.
Founded in 1999, athleteReg is one of the largest event registration companies in North America, supporting event directors in cycling, running, triathlon, ski, and event fundraising. The company operates the BikeReg, RunReg, TriReg, SkiReg, and PledgeReg platforms. Headquartered in Easthampton, Massachusetts, athleteReg serves millions of registered users and over 5,000 events annually, and it processes close to one million registrations annually. The company’s convenient, flexible architecture powers registration, event calendars, results, and peer-to-peer fundraising. Learn more at athleteReg.com.
About Peloton Magazine
Founded in 2010, Peloton Magazine is about bike racing and the joy of riding. About the product and the people behind the technology. About the glory of cycling and the riders who test the limits of their human capacity. About discovering the nuances and sharing the sport we love. We delve into the history and explore the future to bring every angle to life. Learn more at PelotonMagazine.com.
About Sequoia Heritage
Sequoia Heritage is the $8+ billion Sequoia community investment office.
About JAZZ Venture Partners
JAZZ Venture Partners invests in companies that extend the boundaries of human performance — improving how we live, learn, work, play, and experience the world. We seek breakthroughs at the intersection of digital technology and neuroscience that are influencing the human experience, such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, immersive gaming, and closed-loop human-computer systems. Our portfolio companies are unlocking human potential in health, mind-body wellness, accelerated learning and training, sports, entertainment, and the enterprise. Learn more at jazzvp.com.
About Zone 5 Ventures
Zone 5 Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on helping innovative technology companies at the intersection of sports, media, technology and health and wellness. Leveraging its extensive network and collective experience in sports, entrepreneurship, technology and operations, Zone 5 Ventures invests its capital, resources and expertise to help entrepreneurs accelerate growth and innovation. Zone 5 Ventures, along with its partner companies, offers a one-of-a-kind platform to enable its portfolio companies to redefine how the inner athlete in all of us harnesses technology to achieve goals and ultimately improve lives. To learn more about Zone 5 Ventures visit zone5ventures.com.
About NEXT VENTŪRES
NEXT VENTŪRES is a new venture capital firm designed to maximize growth opportunities in the exploding sports, fitness, nutrition and wellness markets. With established expertise and deep connections in these markets as well as proven financial track records, the NEXT VENTŪRES team is well positioned to create significant value for their investors and their portfolio companies. Learn more at nextventures.com.
About Cooley LLP
Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and high-stakes litigation, where innovation meets the law. Cooley has 1,100+ lawyers across 16 offices in the United States, Asia and Europe.
About Progress Partners
Progress Partners is a full service merchant bank that works with emerging technology companies to build value for the digital future. We leverage trusted relationships to unlock insights for buyers and sellers to complete M&A transactions, raise debt or equity capital, and develop strategic growth plans. We are genuine experts who value entrepreneurial leadership and technology to build and realize superior value for our clients. Securities offered by Applied Capital, LLC, member of FINRA and SIPC. Visit ProgressPartners.com for more information.
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