UPshow Acquired By Sports And Entertainment Platform; Back-Of-House Tools Being Spun Out As Independent Entity

July 2, 2024 by Dave Haynes

Chicago-based UPshow, which does what it calls on-premise entertainment and performance marketing platform for venues, has been acquired by a media platform that distributes live sports and entertainment content to the same kinds of venues where UPshow has built a footprint for almost a decade.

Founded just last year, NYC-based EverPass Media launched initially as the exclusive distributor of NFL Sunday Ticket for U.S. commercial establishments like bars, restaurants, hotels and other. EverPass partners with rights holders, distribution partners and business owners to create a one-stop-shop for distributing premium live events.

EverPass says the UPshow acquisition accelerates its business model, “adding essential streaming, consumer engagement, and performance marketing capabilities to its IP-based content library, establishing a comprehensive and innovative media platform tailored specifically for commercial businesses.”

As is usually the case these days, financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

More from the announcement:

In addition to today’s acquisition, TKO Group Holdings, parent company of UFC and WWE, has made a strategic investment in EverPass. Mark Shapiro, President and Chief Operating Officer of TKO, has joined the Board of EverPass, joining representatives from RedBird Capital and 32 Equity.

As part of the integration of UPshow into EverPass, businesses will now have the option to stream NFL Sunday Ticket for the first time ever starting with the upcoming 2024 NFL season. EverPass and UPshow are currently partners for Peacock Sports Pass, a sports package offering commercial businesses access to select events from Peacock’s live sports content library, including Big Ten football and basketball, Premier League and the NFL’s first-ever regular-season game in Brazil.

The addition of UPshow provides vital technology infrastructure and streaming solutions to EverPass. Together, the combined company will unlock unparalleled flexibility, customization and engagement for commercial businesses, turning each screen into a dynamic, viewing experience and revenue generator. Key functional highlights include:

“Just over a year ago we launched EverPass with a mission of creating the preeminent live sports and entertainment media platform built specifically for commercial establishments,” says Derek Chang, EverPass Executive Chairman. “Today’s announcements mark two important steps towards that goal. Adding UPshow’s impressive technology stack to our existing and growing content library gives us the infrastructure to continue to scale our business model and innovate around the out-of-home viewing experience while also giving business owners complete control of their entertainment content.”

UPshow powers more than 30,000 screens in hospitality, healthcare, automotive services and fitness locations across the country. The platform features robust marketing tools and an entertainment library of over 500 ad-free channels.

“We’re excited to start this next chapter of growth, now as a part of EverPass,” says UPshow CEO and co-founder Adam Hirsen. “Our ability to provide premium, in-demand content, like NFL Sunday Ticket, coupled with next-generation, live-engagement tools that bring operators a streamlined user experience and the opportunity to engage with clientele is unmatched and creates a must-have product and media platform for businesses. With our shared vision and complementary strengths, we are well-positioned to lead the evolution of on-premise entertainment and marketing.”

Good for those guys. A lot of other start-ups that have tried to build a financially viable and sustainable footprint markets with ad-driven, free-to-venues screen networks, and at least a couple of them – Atmosphere and Loop Media – have been doing layoffs. Upshow is in the same kinds of venues, but is fee-based and focused on hyper-targeted marketing and interactive entertainment, paired with analytics.

The company has been steadily adding more and more solutions for data-driven messaging, as well as communications aimed at staff, behind the order counters and kitchen doors.

Interestingly, the UPshow Shift toolset that is all about back-of-house messaging to staff, is not part of the deal and will now operate independently under the name Shift. This strategic move allows the team at Shift to have a laser focus on the growth and evolution of the product with greater precision and more rapid innovation.

From the UPshow website

Independence and Focus: As an independent company, Shift will have the agility and focus to tailor its services specifically to the needs of modern brick-and-mortar businesses.

Innovative Solutions:Shift will continue to develop its platform, offering new features, integrations, and enhancements to foster employee engagement and satisfaction. By leveraging these innovations, Shift will help clients achieve measurable business results, including improved employee retention, increased revenue, and operational excellence.

Seasoned Leadership: Shift will be led by an experienced team dedicated to driving the next generation of employee engagement solutions. The core Shift team is comprised of previous UPshow team members who have been integral in the development of Shift. Over time, this will be combined with new talent that brings outside experience, fresh perspectives and creativity for a well-rounded team that will take Shift to the next level.

  1. Ken Goldberg says:

    Well done, UPshow.

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