Falconhead forms CGI publishing and event group

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Falconhead Capital LLC will combine three recent acquisitions to form a publishing and events company called Competitor Group Inc.

CGI will comprise Elite Racing Inc., Triathlete magazine and Competitor Publishing Inc. All three businesses focus on endurance sports.

“Those individual brands mean a great deal in the endurance sports space,” said Peter Engleheart, CEO and president of CGI. “They set the standard, whether on the events side with Elite or on the publishing side with Triathlete and Competitor. By virtue of being the leaders in their respective areas, they're really industry influencers and opinion influencers.”

Triathlete, which is subscriber-supported, boasts a nationwide monthly circulation of 60,000. Competitor Publishing puts out a variety of regional magazines, circulated for free at targeted retail outlets. Those titles have a combined monthly circulation of 450,000 and are ad-supported. Advertisers for both companies include endemic businesses such as running shoes and energy drinks.

Elite Racing, an events company, garners 150,000 participants for its races each year. The company also runs a television station, sells merchandise and holds fitness expos. Sponsors include Saturn cars, New Balance tennis shoes and ING financial services.

Specialty publications, Web sites and a weekly radio show will supplement main publications and events. RMI is handling CGI's list rentals. Though each business currently maintains its own Web site, CGI executives hope to eventually make Competitor.com the home page for the whole company.

In other integration efforts, Englehart foresees the sharing of some creative content between the magazines, and CGI will create an integrated sales team for all the properties, which will focus on increasing sponsorship and advertising opportunities across all three.

“The key point here is to cross-sell on the sponsorship and sales side of things,” said Englehart. “The second thing is to repurpose content across the platforms; we not only have all that print from Triathlete and Competitor, but Elite has a full-time TV arm that does videos, so we have video as well as print assets.”

Active.com assists CGI in event registration and handling Triathlete subscriptions. CGI will also undertake aggressive marketing campaigns for all three brands online and through other venues.

“We studied the endurance space with a lot of research over a two-year time period, and it has the kind of organic growth that is very sustainable,” Englehart pointed out. “I think it has resiliency in its ability to weather a downturn in the economy and it's also part and parcel of tagging on to what's demographically happening with the baby boomers reaching their mid-50s and seeking different kinds of active lifestyles.”

Falconhead has traditionally focused on sports and leisure-related investments, often with a media overlay. Other investments include Extreme Fitness Inc., Our365 and Premier Inc.

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