Munich, 31.01.2007

BURDA SPORTS GROUP out of the starting blocks

Joint-venture of Burda Community Network and Burda Direct Group complements the media group?s marketing portofolio

Burda Community Network, Germany’s largest advertising sales house, and Burda Direct Group, one of Germany’s major direct marketing companies, intensify their close cooperation by launching Burda Sports Group GmbH on February 1, 2007. This step makes sports an important business area of Hubert Burda Media. The company is based at two locations, with co-managing directors Rudolf Vidal (35) in Munich and Manfred Ruf (41) in Frankfurt respectively. Both report to the managing directors of the parent companies, Andreas Schilling (Burda Community Network GmbH) and Jürgen Siegloch (Burda Direct GmbH).

Sports issues convey emotions, image, credibility and play an increasingly important role in communication. The new joint venture helps Hubert Burda Media to integrate the field of sports into its community concept, thus strengthening the core business and tapping new marketing potentials. Andreas Schilling, managing director of Burda Community Network: “By making sports a part of our media communities, we can implement innovative brand solutions in an even more comprehensive way.”

Burda Sports Group is a full-service provider for the advertising industry in the field of sports. Core competences include concept design and implementation of customized sports/media solutions. Contrary to traditional sports marketing, it is a first that the field of sports is included in a wide marketing portfolio and becomes an element of cross-media and cross-platform communication solutions. This way, customers benefits from the entire Hubert Burda Media network. Based on the comprehensive print portfolio, marketing competence is established through all opportunities offered by a modern direct marketing house as well as online and mobile marketing, research, events, ambient media (Edgar Cards) etc.

Jürgen Siegloch, managing director of Burda Direct Group: “Thanks to Burda Direct’s 16 million customer contacts, each customer will in future have the chance to use his sports issue also for B2C communication.“

Burda Sports Group intends to establish close ties with sports marketing companies. In addition, medium-term planning includes creating own rights in the areas event, tournament and charity. At the same time, the marketing rights of Deutscher Sportpartner GmbH in Deutsche Sport Marketing, including the field of recreational sports of Deutscher Olympi­scher Sportbund such as the German sports badge, are transferred to Burda Sports Group. By linking future-oriented issues such as sports and health in the media, new media communities are created.

The joint venture is the next innovative step in ad marketing for both Burda profit centers. The central advertising sales house Burda Community Network and direct marketing company Burda Direct Group have been cooperating closely since early 2006. By connecting the 16 million customer contacts of Burda Direct Group and the BCN media communities, a new dimension in dialog marketing has been reached. A good example for the successful cooperation is the first BMW-Style-Tour of September 2006, a customized communication concept developed for BMW.

background information:

Burda Community Network

Burda Community Network is Germany’s largest print marketing company and one of the most innovative marketing companies for advertising space. In 2006, the company grew by 6.1 per cent over the year before, creating revenues of € 769 million with traditional advertising alone. The company’s present market share is 24 per cent. The interconnection of all communication platforms results in a very high efficiency, as the example of media communities shows. They combine mass media attention - created through issues and Hubert Burda Media’s strong media brands - with the interaction of one-to-one communication offered by the new digital media. This is the foundation for Burda Community Network’s development of customized media solutions for advertising partners. Burda Community Network pools about 40,000 B2B contacts. Advertising space is marketed through five national sales offices (Hamburg/Berlin, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich) as well as 16 international sales offices.

Burda Direct Group

Burda Direct Group is one of the leading companies in the growing industry of dialog marketing. With revenues of € 250 million and a staff of 2,000, the company is one of the largest employers at Hubert Burda Media. Burda Direct is a multi-national company with 17 locations in Germany, France, Austria, Poland, Rumania, Russia, Slovakia and Switzerland. More than 100 customers trust in Burda Direct’s long experience in dialog marketing and have established the company’s market leadership. There are 16 million active customer contacts, eight million subscribers and 400,000 Burda Direct Shop customers.