In a bid to create to create niche-specific affinity groups, SFX Entertainment has acquired a "substantial minority interest" in UltraStar Internet Services, the internet company co-founded by rock star David Bowie.
An SFX paper statement said that the company held options to increase its holdings in UltraStar in the future.
Having undertaken a prolonged acquisition program, SFX develops and manages touring Broadway shows, and sells Broadway subscription series and individual productions in 55 markets.
An integrated franchise that grew at a rate of one or more acquisitions per week at times during the past year, SFX has now taken to announcing sponsorships (Budweiser and wrenchead.com) and the Ultrastar investment.
SFX Entertainment has a large sports group and a worldwide marketing capability. In addition, the company produces live entertainment events locally, regionally and nationally. SFX has 120 venues overall, and owns or operates venues in 31 of the top 50 domestic markets. UltraStar revolutionized the Internet with subscription-based models targeting entertainment, sports, fashion and other "affinity groups." Ultrastar specializes in private label ISPs and community and commerce oriented sites such as David Bowie's web site BowieNet; the official web site of the New York Yankees, YankeesXtreme; and the official web site of the Baltimore Orioles, OriolesWorld.
``We are proud to be affiliated with the world leader in live entertainment,'' said UltraStar co-founder David Bowie in the joint statement. ``SFX's philosophy of bringing the best in entertainment and sports directly to fans mirrors our philosophy of doing the same in cyberspace.''
UltraStar said it will announce several additional entertainment, music and sports related subscription services in the first quarter of 2000.
-- By Murdoch McBride