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Footballco to buy Middle East’s largest digital sports publisher

Footballco, the world’s largest digital football content and media business, has agreed to buy Kooora, the largest digital sports publisher in the Middle East in a mid-eight-figure all-cash deal.

The acquisition will complement Footballco’s current footprint in the Middle East which is served by seven local editions of GOAL, published in both English and Arabic and more than doubles Footballco’s audience in the region to 42m football fans and increases its monthly global reach to 640 million.

The acquisition of the Dubai-based publisher comes at a time when fans across the world are looking ahead to the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East.

Kooora is published in Arabic and English and reaches an average of 25 million unique users a month and has a strong social media presence, especially across Gen-Z platforms, TikTok and Snapchat, which generate in excess of 17m monthly video views.

Footballco CEO, Juan Delgado said: “Kooora supercharges our global and Middle East footprint at a time when more eyes will be on the sport and the region.

“As a core market for Footballco, being the number one football platform in the Middle East is a must, allowing us to serve its young, growing and football-mad population.

“It is an affluent digital market, which allows us to continue to populate our map with leading local publishing brands alongside GOAL’s global scale.”

Delgado said: “Following our acquisition of Italy’s, CalcioMercato in August of 2021 and UK-based football publisher Mundial in February this year, we’re progressing on our strategy to own football fandom in key markets, as well as leverage, established local publishers to diversify their revenues beyond advertising, as we’ve done with GOAL on affiliate, e-commerce and apparel.”

Kooora’s founder, Khalid Aldoseri said: “I’m proud to have founded Kooora and to have taken it to this level and I’m excited to see how far it can grow as part of Footballco. 

“Since the day it was launched, we worked hard to build and maintain the pioneering position of Kooora at all levels. We look forward to Kooora growing and expanding onto higher realms as part of Footballco, striving to always serve a valuable and precious Arabic-speaking user base of sports fans.”

To further expand Footballco’s presence in the Middle East, the company will be moving its regional headquarters to Saudi Arabia, integrating both Kooora and GOAL’s operations in the region.

Footballco’s acquisition of Kooora follows its purchase of CalcioMercato in August 2021 and complements its portfolio of leading local market football media brands, including Voetbalzone (Netherlands) and Spox (Germany).