Northstar Travel Group announced today it has acquired the TEAMS Conference + Expo and Meetings Quest conferences, including SportsTravel and Association News magazines, from Los Angeles-based Schneider Publishing. Timothy Schneider, president and CEO of Schneider Publishing, will join Northstar Travel Group as founder and chairman of the company's new Sports Division. The division will be an integral part of Northstar's Meetings Group, which includes Meetings & Conventions, Successful Meetings, Meeting News, and Incentive, and the group's integrated data, digital and in-person event platforms.
"Sporting events are an exciting, fast-growing, specialized meetings-industry segment, catering to diverse audiences with distinct needs," said Tom Kemp, chairman and CEO of Northstar Travel Group. "Schneider Publishing's SportsTravel brand and their TEAMS Conference have built a reputation as a key partner to sports-event organizers and the destinations and hoteliers who serve them. This acquisition is another important step in the transformation of Northstar into a marketing solutions company serving all key segments of the travel and meetings industries."
David Blansfield, executive vice president and group publisher of Northstar's Meetings Group, added, "Our strategy to serve the widest variety of meeting planners, and the suppliers who serve them, is further enhanced with the addition of Association News and the Meetings Quest conferences. Schneider Publishing's extensive databases and relationships complement and expand our capabilities in the corporate, association, and specialty meetings markets, as well as provide an immediate leadership position in sports."
Association News, a monthly publication, was launched in 1976 as the first trade publication dedicated exclusively to the unique needs of the association meetings industry. Today, the print and digital editions reach more than 90,000 association executives and meeting professionals monthly.
SportsTravel, published 10 times per year since 1997, is the key source of news and information on sports-related travel, from amateur and youth sports to collegiate and professional sports. The magazine is read by more than 40,000 sports industry professionals in its print and digital formats.
"Finding the right strategic partner with the necessary capabilities over a range of areas -- event management, digital media, and database marketing, to name a few -- was important to me to scale the business," said Timothy Schneider. "Working with Tom, David, and the Northstar team, we'll be leveraging Northstar's strengths to enhance and expand our offerings in service of our customers."
A passionate advocate of the travel and sports industries, Schneider has served on the boards of the Destination Marketing Association International and the U.S. Travel Association. He served two terms on the board of the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) and, in 2017, was inducted as a member of the inaugural class of the NASC Hall of Fame.
TEAMS is the world's leading conference and expo for the sports-event industry. Presented in association with the SportsTravel media brand, TEAMS '17 will be held Oct. 30-Nov. 2, 2017, in Orlando. Launched in 1998, TEAMS attracts more than 1,000 attendees, including CEOs, executive directors, and event managers from sports organizations as well as representatives from sports commissions and convention bureaus, corporate sponsors, event suppliers, and other hospitality industry leaders. Now in its 19th year, TEAMS has defined the sports-event and appointment-based trade-show industries.
Meetings Quest is the live-show counterpart to Association News, and is the longest-running series of trade shows for corporate and association meeting planners in the U.S. Established in 1984, Meeting Quest was acquired, retooled and relaunched by Schneider Publishing in 2013. The regional events, following a 1.5-day format, will effectively complement Northstar Meetings Group's growing roster of hosted-buyer programs.
Included in Northstar's acquisition of Schneider Publishing's sports- and meetings-industry assets, the company also has acquired the rights to the Shamrock Shootout Golf Classic, the longest-running golf tournament in the hospitality industry, which recently was named the exclusive golf tournament of the IMEX America trade show, to be held Oct. 10 - 12, 2017, in Las Vegas.
About Schneider Publishing
Schneider Publishing provides events and conferences, media and information products and services to suppliers and organizers for sports, associations and corporate meetings and events through its leading brands - Association News and SportsTravel magazines - and its TEAMS Conference and Meetings Quest trade-show series.
About Northstar Travel Group
Northstar is the owner of well-known brands including Travel Weekly, TravelAge West, Business Travel News, Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, Meeting News, Travel Weekly China, Incentive, M&C China and Web in Travel. The company produces more than 50 face-to-face events in 13 countries in retail travel, corporate travel, travel technology, and the meetings industry. In addition, Northstar owns Phocuswright, the leading research, business intelligence, and event producer serving the fastest growing segment of the travel industry, online travel distribution. Northstar is also the majority shareholder in Inntopia, the leading SaaS e-commerce software provider serving the mountain destination, activities and specialty destination travel markets.
Based in Secaucus, N.J., the company also has offices in New York, N.Y.; Glen Ellyn, Ill.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Stowe, Vt.; and global offices in Singapore, Beijing, and Shanghai. Wasserstein Partners IV acquired Northstar Travel Group in June 2016.
About Wasserstein Partners IV
Wasserstein Partners IV is a mid-market buyout fund managed by WP Capital Management, the private-equity investment company formerly associated with Wasserstein Perella Group and Wasserstein & Co. The firm manages capital on behalf of institutional and individual investors. Its investment activities are focused on the media and communications, consumer products and water and industrial sectors. WP Capital's investment team has completed 27 platform acquisitions and 51 add-on acquisitions over a 23-year period. WP Capital is located in New York. For more information, click here.