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Super League Gaming and iHeartMedia Join Forces to Bring Brands into the Metaverse

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Super League Executives to Share Expertise in Advertising and Gaming with Upcoming Speaking Engagements

 

Super League Gaming, a leading network of metaverse games, monetization tools, and content channels, and iHeartMedia, the leading audio company in America, announced today a partnership that will leverage iHeartMedia’s massive North American sales force of 1,500 sellers in every major market nationwide, as well as its vast roster of partners, to bring Super League’s highly-sought after ad inventory and influencer network to brands looking to gain entry to the metaverse. The two companies will also collaborate on the development and rollout of iHeartMedia’s “iHeartLand” virtual spaces and fan experiences across metaverse platforms as well as the distribution of Super League’s immersive new 3D and NPC (non-player character) ad units.

With this newly-forged alliance, Super League will share its deep knowledge and insights on open metaverse gaming platforms such as Roblox and Minecraft. This includes the company’s robust suite of exclusive analytics to help guide the go-to-market plans and future-forward sales strategies for iHeartMedia’s portfolio of premium brand advertisers. Super League’s ad tech solutions feature a platform deployed within more than 150 curated, brand-safe games in Roblox that reach more than 70 million monthly active players; measurable formats within the largest free Minecraft server host community in the world, Minehut; and dynamic home page placements across dozens of YouTube channels collectively boasting more than 65 million subscribers who are passionate about gaming entertainment. This partnership reaches far into the depths of the metaverse to provide iHeartMedia’s sales team – North America’s largest and most powerful – with full access to Super League’s coveted, measurable, and ground-breaking metaverse ad inventory and products that are brand-friendly and kidSafe certified.

Creators and developers working with Super League will continue to have full control over the ads that appear in the environments they have built and grown, with iHeartMedia poised to ramp up their monetization opportunities at an accelerated pace.

“Generation Z does not distinguish between physical and digital worlds, moving fluidly between the two in their daily existence. iHeartMedia has been a defining brand at this very intersection, combining digital and physical content experiences that delight consumers and fans,” says Matt Edelman, Chief Commercial Officer of Super League. “It is awesome to be working alongside iHeart as they extend their brand into the metaverse and deepen their commitment to providing impactful solutions to the top advertisers on the planet.”

“As we develop and introduce our unique iHeart experiences in the metaverse this year, we’re thrilled to partner with Super League to create new and compelling ways to connect our brand partners to passionate fans in our virtual spaces and beyond,” said Jessica Jerrick, Executive Vice President, Digital Distribution and Platform Partnerships for iHeartMedia. “Super League’s expertise, coupled with their best-in-class ad tech and expansive inventory across Roblox games, puts them at the forefront of this exciting space and makes them an ideal partner for iHeartMedia’s new extensions in the metaverse.”

With Super League’s metaverse mastery and iHeartMedia’s expertise in delivering one-of-a-kind experiences, the partnership is poised to raise the bar for younger consumers and the brands who want to reach them. Through exciting and immersive events supported by innovative marketing campaigns, consumers can expect rich experiences that weave together real life and virtual life with compelling content, exclusive merchandise, exciting competitions and much more.

“iHeartMedia gets it – they’re not messing around. They know that the metaverse is not a passing fad – it’s here to stay,” says Ann Hand, Chairman and CEO of Super League Gaming. “They recognized that only a premium partner could provide the specific expertise and quality, brand-safe experiences they need. Super League’s proven track record fits that bill and we are thrilled to be working together with them on their upcoming metaverse experiences.”

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Snail Games Enhances Current Game Titles with Exciting New Developments

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Snail Inc., a leading global independent developer and publisher of interactive digital entertainment, announced significant strides with the launch of West Hunt on Nintendo Switch and the introduction of ASA Premium Mods for ARK Survival Ascended. These initiatives underscore Snail Games’ unwavering commitment to continuously improving and enhancing its current portfolio of game titles.

West Hunt on Nintendo Switch

Snail Games’ independent game branch, Wandering Wizard, in collaboration with developing studio New Gen, recently launched West Hunt on Nintendo Switch. This highly anticipated game transports players into the heart of the Wild West, enabling them to embark on manhunts wherever they go. The launch of West Hunt on Nintendo Switch marks a significant milestone in Snail Games’ journey, as it extends the game’s reach beyond Steam into the thriving console gaming community.

ASA Premium Mods

Snail Games is also set to introduce ARK Survival Ascended’s Premium Mods program. This innovative initiative revolutionizes the modding landscape by providing unprecedented opportunities for monetization. With one of the most competitive revenue-sharing models in the industry, ARK Survival Ascended’s Premium Mods program ensures that modders are duly recognized and rewarded for their creativity and dedication. Moreover, ASA Premium Mods’ cross-platform compatibility across PC, Xbox, and PlayStation amplifies modders’ reach, enabling them to maximize their earnings and connect with a broader audience. ARK Survival Ascended’s mod program is committed to fostering an environment that encourages innovation, collaboration, and fair compensation for modders. The program aims to be a catalyst for positive change within the modding community, empowering creators to thrive in their craft. The premium mod program has launched on the PC platform with other platforms to follow in time.

“We remain committed to improving and elevating our current portfolio of games, ensuring that every player finds adventure and excitement in our diverse offerings. We embark on these exciting new ventures with our community and partners at the forefront of our strategy,” Jim Tsai, Chief Executive Officer of Snail Games, said.

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WA.Technology appoints Waldir Marques as Director of Regulatory Affairs

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WA.Technology, a leading B2B iGaming solutions provider, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Waldir Marques as its new Director of Regulatory Affairs—this key addition to WA.Technology’s leadership team fortifies the company, particularly in light of recent regulatory changes in Brazil.

Waldir Marques, the former CEO of the government-backed lottery syndicate CAIXA Loterias S.A., brings a wealth of experience and an outstanding track record in iGaming regulation. His high-profile role at Brazil’s CAIXA Loterias S.A., a company renowned for its commitment to ethics, integrity, and transparency, has honed his skills in ensuring strict adherence to regulatory requirements – a crucial asset for WA.Technology’s operations. Waldir’s insights and expertise will be invaluable in bringing credible and knowledgeable advice to clients, opening the door for bigger and better opportunities in a legally compliant way.

“With the latest regulatory developments in Brazil, Waldir’s profound understanding of the legal landscape will be instrumental in guiding our expansion efforts in the country and the wider Latam market,” said Tim Scoffham, CEO of WA.Technology. “His appointment proves our commitment to operating within legal compliance, ensuring our clients receive exceptional service and the peace of mind that comes with rigorous regulatory adherence.”

Waldir’s curriculum vitae is a testament to his breadth of knowledge and experience in the field. His roles as Director-President & CEO at CAIXA Loterias S.A. and  Subsecretary of Regulation of Lotteries, Prizes and Sweepstakes at the Ministry of Economy, Brazil, highlight his capabilities in navigating the regulatory environment of the Brazilian market and beyond. His team leadership and governance skills further solidify his fit for this pivotal role.

“I am excited to start this new chapter with WA.Technology and contribute to its growth in the Latam region,” said Waldir Marques. “Ensuring compliance and fostering a trustworthy environment for our clients is my top priority. I look forward to helping to steer the company through the evolving regulatory landscape, particularly in Brazil, in light of the ongoing changes. I’m also looking forward to taking on the challenge of bettering WA.Technology’s advancement in the broader South American market as the company branches out into other markets such as Mexico.”

Waldir Marques will be part of the WA.Technology team at ICE London 2024 and will be available at the WA.Technology stand S4-240. His presence at such a prominent event underscores WA.Technology’s commitment to expanding its reach and expertise in the flourishing Latam market.

This appointment marks a significant stride for WA.Technology in fortifying its position in Latam. WA.Technology is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of regulatory compliance and client service, and the addition of Waldir Marques to its leadership team signifies its commitment to excellence, integrity, and growth in the region.

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Gaming

SharpLink Gaming Sells Fantasy Sports and Sports Game Development Business Units to RSports Interactive

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SharpLink Gaming Ltd. (Nasdaq: SBET) (“SharpLink” or the “Company”) announced that on January 18, 2024, the Company entered into an agreement to sell all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock or membership interests, as applicable, in its SportsHub/fantasy sports and free to play sports game development business units to RSports Interactive, Inc. (“RSports”) for $22.5 million in an all-cash transaction. Nearly all employees of these acquired business units will also move to RSports to help ensure a seamless transition.

SharpLink further reported that it used approximately $14.9 million of the proceeds from the sale to repay in full all outstanding term loans and lines of credit with its lender; in addition, SharpLink paid approximately $4.5 million to redeem an 8% Interest, 10% Original Issue Discount Senior Convertible Debenture issued to an existing shareholder in connection with a Securities Purchase Agreement signed in February 2023. As a result, the Company is now free of interest bearing debt.

As further detailed in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by the Company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission later today, SharpLink’s Board of Directors considered the following factors, among others, in reaching their decision to approve the sale:

  • With the sale consummated, SharpLink expects to significantly reduce its operating expenses, primarily due to a significant reduction in headcount, lower office lease costs, greatly diminished state licensing requirements, elimination of interest bearing debt service and other resulting cost savings, thereby positioning the Company with the ability to achieve positive cash flow from its remaining performance marketing business on an accelerated basis;
  • The sale significantly strengthens the Company’s working cash position and total shareholders’ equity and provides the capital necessary to extinguish nearly $19.4 million in interest bearing debt – all without having to rely on dilutive equity financings to support the Company’s future growth;
  • The improvement in the Company’s total shareholders’ equity position is expected to enable SharpLink to regain compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum continued listing requirements; and
  • The sale of the Company’s fantasy sports and free-to-play games development businesses positions SharpLink as a pure-play, performance marketing company serving the global sports betting and iGaming industries.

In connection with the sale, Chris Nicholas, the Company’s Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, resigned as an officer and director of the Company, effective immediately.

Commenting on the sale, Rob Phythian, SharpLink’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “This sale represents a pivotal milestone for SharpLink, allowing us to unlock significant value in our fantasy sports and game development businesses and achieve multiple critical objectives without having to turn to a potentially dilutive equity financing to strengthen our financial footing, regain compliance with Nasdaq, and support our efforts to ultimately create sustainable long-term value for our shareholders. Moreover, we are confident that our fantasy sports and sports game development businesses will continue to thrive and prosper in the great hands of RSports, which has exciting plans to elevate the combined businesses to new heights.”

Continuing, Phythian said, “Our remaining sports betting and iGaming performance marketing business will be more focused and simplified, allowing us to prioritize innovation and organic growth, while empowering us to look for strategic opportunities to strengthen SharpLink’s position as a trusted solutions provider to both current and future business partners.”

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