Sportgenic Aims to Support Cross-Media Sports Advertising

Sportgenic, a sports marketing company founded and led by former 24/7 Real Media executive Robert Tas, has launched a Web-based system that serves as a one-stop platform for buying and selling sports-related advertising and inventory.

With its new product, called “Sportgenic Torque,” the San Francisco-based company formerly called Active Athlete hopes to integrate the purchase, sale and management all types of sports marketing media including print, TV, online and events. Sportgenic, in announcing Torque, said its system can eliminate the fragmented and usually manual approaches where marketers and agencies deal with multiple vendors while publishers suffer from inefficiency in managing their inventory.

Tas describes himself as a triathlon and marathon competitor who is “very passionate about sports.” He said he was inspired to create Torque when Sportgenic’s clients repeatedly complained about the inability to do integrated programs where they could easily place different types of ads in a wide variety of media seen by sports fans.

On the Torque site, those who want to start ad campaigns can choose the preferred media types, such as banners, video, mobile, page takeovers, print ads, event sponsorships, TV and others. They can also select demographics including gender and household income of their targeted audiences. And they can pick from nine “audience channels” such as active females, endurance athletes and thrill seekers.

The site allows Sportgenic’s media partners to manage their online and offline inventory, build online sales channels and gain access to premium advertisers.

“What we decided to do was make it open and public and transparent,” said Tas. “Why do we need to keep the data behind a wall? Let’s give it to customers and help us help them.”

Tas said he is not concerned about launching the new product during a recession. Instead, he believes now is a good time to introduce products designed to increase ad industry efficiency.

“We actually view this as an interesting enabler,” he said. “Agencies are…understaffed and underpaid. This can make them more efficient… We think we picked an opportune time to launch this.” Prior to creating Sportgenic, Tas was senior vice president of media and technology at 24/7 Real Media. Before that, he was involved in the launch of the behavioral targeting software company Tacoda Systems.

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