Horizon Media launches a sports and experiences vertical

Horizon Media has announced the launch of the newest company under Horizon’s portfolio of marketing services — Horizon Sports & Experiences (HS&E), the latest in a series of strategic moves to continue to offer marketers innovative solutions to drive better business outcomes.


HS&E will be led by the team of David Levy, Founder of Back Nine Ventures, LLC and former President of Turner, and Chris Weil, former Chair & CEO of Momentum Worldwide, who will serve as co-CEOs and equity partners in HS&E. The new firm, which includes the merger of Horizon’s Scout Sports and Entertainment division, was created to provide a differentiated and comprehensive approach for clients engaging in sports and experiential marketing. Michael Neuman, head of Scout, will become EVP of HS&E, reporting to Levy and Weil.

With a fully-integrated service model, Horizon Sports & Experiences will include a core focus on IP creation and monetization, strategic advisory and consulting, media rights, sponsorship, sales, and experiential strategy and activation – transforming marketers’ ability to more seamlessly and effectively leverage their brand assets, content, and engagement strategies to drive increased growth. In addition, given the transformative impact that Web3 and the metaverse are expected to have in both the sports and experiences arenas, Horizon Media’s recently launched metaverse consultancy, Chapter & Verse, will be merged into the expanded offerings of HS&E.


“As marketers seek more integration and more connections with the consumer, we are always seeking ways to evolve ahead of the landscape to meet those needs, and Horizon Sports & Experiences will do just that — building on the foundation that Scout created and introducing a new and expanded suite of services that will be vital for where the market is going,” said Bill Koenigsberg, CEO and Founder of Horizon Media. “What we have created here will bring a unique – and complementary – combination of sports, experiential, and media capabilities and expertise under one tent that will be a marketer’s dream. Further, I am thrilled about the game-changing work that we will do with two industry powerhouses like David Levy and Chris Weil, who join me as partners in HS&E and enter the Horizon family with an incredible list of accomplishments behind them and nothing but open opportunity to lead, create, and grow ahead of them.”


Levy has been widely recognized across the industry for his professional achievements, including being elected to the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and named by Sports Business Journal as one of the most influential executives over the past 20 years. Prior to serving as founder of Back Nine Ventures, LLC, a sports consulting and investing firm, Levy was President of Turner – where he offered content and advertising solutions to brands with audiences in sports, entertainment, news, and children’s programming. He also oversaw the company’s leading domestic portfolio of networks and businesses – including TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Bleacher Report and Turner Sports – and led Turner’s two domestic revenue divisions, ad sales and distribution. In addition, Levy took on executive oversight for increased investment in original premium content across the portfolio, contributing to 33 Emmy Award nominations for Turner in one year.


Levy assumed leadership of Turner Sports in 2003 and had numerous accomplishments, including deepening and expanding Turner’s media rights and defining the division via its association with premium sports content, brands, and events, including the NBA, Major League Baseball, PGA Tour, and orchestrating a landmark deal with the NCAA for Division 1 men’s Basketball Championship (March Madness). Levy also led a significant expansion in digital media and new businesses designed to grow Turner’s portfolio, including spearheading Turner’s efforts in acquiring the Bleacher Report and the launch of Turner’s first U.S. domestic subscription video-on- demand (SVOD) services.


“Throughout my career, I have had tremendous opportunities to build and grow some of the world’s most esteemed brands by creating and identifying the partnerships, content and value propositions that deliver consistent value to their audiences through sports and entertainment platforms and experiences,” said Levy.


“Still, I know that in today’s ever-changing media landscape, there are even more opportunities to develop strong new IP destination events and help existing and emerging sports leagues navigate new distribution platforms, as well as sponsorship and sales. To that end, we’ll also be looking at opportunities to deploy available capital for strategic acquisitions to extend these capabilities and accelerate HS&E’s impact for our clients. I’m excited that all our clients, including those coming with me from Back Nine to HS&E – Top Rank Inc., Learfield and others, will have more services and opportunities across this fused buy-sell-brand lens that is further amplified by Horizon’s deep consumer insights and analytics offerings.”


From 2003 until his recent departure, Weil served as Chair & CEO of Momentum Worldwide – where he oversaw the agency’s growth from two offices to 30 around the globe, achieving regular double-digit growth year-over-year and ultimately managing over $5 billion in sponsorship assets. He also led major brand campaigns with his teams at tentpole events including the Super Bowl, Olympics, PGA, Coachella, Wimbledon, and Art Basel. Under Weil’s leadership, Momentum received some of the industry’s top honors including Best Sports Marketing Agency, Best Experiential Agency, Best Place to Work, Agency of the Year 41 times around the globe (3x by Sports Business Journal), and most recently being honored with the Industry Craft Grand Prix at Cannes Lions and named this year’s Adweek Experiential Agency of the Year.


“Given fundamental shifts in consumer attitudes and behaviors that are continuing to drive the evolution of brand experience – both physical and digital – I believe that Web3 is going to be the ‘experience Web,'” said Weil. “So, we’re creating a company that will be at the forefront of monetizing Web3 in this blended physical-digital world. What the industry needs most going forward is an agency model that can seamlessly and comprehensively support this approach and serve all of a marketer’s sports and brand experience needs in one place – media rights, sponsorship consulting, sales, the monetization of properties and IP, and more. That is precisely what we’ve developed with Horizon Sports & Experiences, and we’ll be aggressively identifying and exploring acquisitions across IP, experiential and other services that align with our vision.”


Weil has also received numerous professional accolades across the industry, including being a two-time recipient of Sports Business Journal’s 40 under 40 award and being named one of the top 100 People Who Make Advertising Great by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). In addition, as chair of the 4A’s, Weil was instrumental in launching its High School Initiative, where he worked with New York public schools to offer vocational training and facilitate opportunities for diverse talent to learn about and enter careers in advertising and marketing.


The launch of Horizon Sports & Experiences comes on the heels of Horizon Media’s recent announcements, including the launch of B2B consulting services firm Green Thread, as well as the acquisition of First Tube Media, also specializing in hybrid cultural experiences and which will work closely with HS&E.

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