FLYING Media Group begins to expand today in the recreational marine industry with the acquisition of Bonnier’s marine media titles, including Boating, Yachting, Sailing World, Cruising World, SaltWater Sportsman, Wakeboarding, Sport Fishing, Sport Fishing Television, and the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series.
In July 2021, FLYING was acquired by Craig Fuller, the founder and CEO of FreightWaves, from Bonnier to form FLYING Media Group (FMG). Over the next two years, FMG acquired 25 other aviation brands, creating the most comprehensive aviation media brand in the world, serving audiences across all aspects of aerospace.
Until now, FMG focused solely on aviation, but today marks an expansion of FMG’s breadth with the acquisition of Bonnier’s recreational marine media portfolio.
“Bonnier’s marine portfolio has some of the most iconic names in recreational boating, sailing, yachting, and fishing, offering audience experiences and content that are unmatched in the recreational marine community,” said Craig Fuller, CEO of FLYING Media Group.
The newly acquired marine brands offer massive potential for FMG as the company makes investments in content and audience:
Boating is the largest media brand in the recreational boating industry. Boating has been described as “America’s Favorite Recreational Activity” with 12 percent of U.S. households owning a boat, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. There are more than 25 million recreational boats in the nation, with more than 1 million boats purchased annually.
Yachting is the premier media brand serving the luxury marine market. More than 59,000 yachts are purchased annually; more than 900 are described as ‘super yachts.’
Cruising World is the market leader for the cruising sailor, focusing exclusively on the sailing lifestyle and topics that interest cruising sailors. There are 3.5 million annual sailing participants in the U.S.
Sailing World is the number one media resource for the racing sailor. With the proliferation of competitive sailing events, Sailing World provides unparalleled coverage of the topic, including America’s Cup, The Ocean Race, SailGP, and local regattas. Sailing World covers the newest gear, techniques, and how-to-information for the competitive sailing community.
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series is the only nationwide series of multi-class regattas in North America.
Wakeboarding is the largest media property dedicated to wake-sports such as wakeboarding and waterskiing.
Sport Fishing and Sport Fishing TV are for the passionate fishing enthusiast who want information on the latest fishing techniques, destinations, and newest equipment. More than 55 million Americans participate in recreational fishing each year, making it more popular than golf.
SaltWater Sportsman is the nation’s largest and longest-tenured saltwater fishing media property. There were more than 172 million recreational saltwater fishing outings last year, with more than 13 million Americans participating.
Through these properties, FMG plans to invest significantly in content across the recreational marine channel. FMG also plans to execute its unique media model of content to commerce, driving top-of-funnel opportunities across the marine market.
FMG also plans to continue to invest in the magazine editions of the marine titles, along with additional investments in digital and video content. FMG intends to retain all of the editorial and content teams that drive the portfolio of brands, with additional expansion planned.
Marlin was not included in the transaction and will remain with Bonnier.