Taking advantage of the difficult economic climate in Australia, News Digital Media has acquired a significant minority stake in SportingPulse (ANZ), a grassroots sports network.

SportingPulse purportedly attracted more than one million monthly unique browsers during the peak winter sporting season and provides more than 50 sports with the IT tools to manage their organisations and competitions, publish websites, communicate with participants and raise revenue.

It is expected that News Digital Media’s sales team will sell display advertising across the SportingPulse network.

“With SportingPulse now evolving from a software business into a fully fledged digital platform, it presents an ideal strategic investment opportunity for News Digital Media…(SportingPulse) gives advertisers a fantastic opportunity to reach not only a huge mass audience, but also to target highly engaged Australians from every walk of life,” says chief executive officer, Richard Freudenstein.

News Digital Media’s stake complements the AFL’s minority interest in Sporting Pulse, secured in 2008.

The AFL’s chief operating officer, Gillon McLachlan, believes the deal is a great result for the football community, which last year exceeded 690,000 in players alone.

“Our participants, volunteers and supporters are invariably passionate followers of their local leagues and clubs, and the stats show that the web is an increasingly important tool of engagement,” explains McLachlan.