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Bill Simmons’ The Ringer Inks Advertising, Tech Pact With Vox Media

Variety logo Variety 5/30/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

Bill Simmons has struck a sales and technology agreement with Vox Media to bring his digital media outfit, The Ringer, into Vox’s portfolio.

Simmons, founder of sports journalism website Grantland, founded The Ringer last year after parting ways with ESPN. Under the pact with Vox, The Ringer will remain editorially independent, delivering a mix of sports, culture and tech news, features and podcasts.

The Ringer originally launched last summer on Medium, the internet-publishing platform created by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. Investors in Vox Media include NBCUniversal, which acquired a $200 million stake in the company.

The Vox sales and marketing teams will sell brand advertising for The Ringer. In addition, The Ringer will operate on Chorus, Vox’s proprietary technology and data platform for developing and growing digital media brands.

“Bill is one of our industry’s great innovators, with one of its most loyal followings,” said Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff in a statement. “He shares Vox Media’s commitment to high-quality storytelling and branded content.”

Simmons, for his part, said he had been trying to figure out a way to work with Vox and Bankoff “for a few years now, so I’m delighted it worked out.”

Vox Media’s brands include Vox, SB Nation, Eater, The Verge, Curbed, Recode, Racked and Polygon.

L.A.-based Bill Simmons Media Group was founded in 2015 and launched The Ringer, which comprises a website, newsletter, podcast network, and scripted and non-scripted video production. The Ringer and HBO have collaborated on several productions including “Game of Thrones” after-show, “After The Thrones”; Simmons-hosted sports talk show “Any Given Wednesday” (which was canceled last fall); and an upcoming documentary about Andre the Giant in association with WWE.

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