Emerald Expositions sells Bicycle Retailer to Pocket Outdoor Media

Weeks after Emerald Expositions confirmed its Interbike show is being shelved for 2019, the Emerald business has sold US-based Bicycle Retailer & Industry News (BRAIN).

Pocket Outdoor Media, publisher of VeloNews, Triathlete, Women’s Running and VeloPress, has bought BRAIN from Emerald. The move ends the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) connection to BRAIN – NBDA had published the title since 2003. BRAIN is relocating to Boulder, Colorado as part of the deal.

For those keeping track, Pocket Outdoor Media bought back VeloNews in 2017, having sold it to World Triathlon Corporation ten years previously.

“Bringing BRAIN into Pocket Outdoor Media is a little piece of history coming full circle,” said Felix Magowan, Chairman of Pocket Outdoor Media. “VeloNews helped establish BRAIN in 1992 and this acquisition means we will continue BRAIN’s legacy of authoritative industry coverage,” Magowan said.

Darrell Denny, Executive Vice President at Emerald Expositions, said, “It’s hard to imagine a better fit for BRAIN than with the folks at Pocket. They know and understand this market, they have direct experience with the title, and they are clearly media pros.” BRAIN and Interbike have been part of Emerald Expositions’ portfolio of properties.

Brandee Lepak, the NBDA’s President, said the acquisition ensures BRAIN’s future in the industry and that it will continue its contributions to improving retail. “We could not be more excited for the future,” she said. “The NBDA truly believes Pocket Outdoor Media is the perfect home for our industry’s most valued trade publication, and Felix is a passionate professional. I am confident he will see that BRAIN has a successful and sustainable future,” Lepak said.

Andrew Pemberton, Pocket Outdoor Media’s CEO, agreed, saying, “Acquiring BRAIN means we are now even more tightly connected to the cycling industry. From manufacturers to IBDs to consumers—we can serve and support cycling better than ever.”

Marc Sani, who has been serving as BRAIN’s Interim Publisher, said the magazine has had a long relationship with staff at Pocket Outdoor Media. “VeloNews has always been a trusted media brand and an innovator in bicycle publishing,” he said. “I am confident that Pocket will further extend BRAIN’s recent moves into improving its website and newsletters, adding fresh voices to its portfolio like Arleigh Greenwald’s Shift Up podcast, and develop new products to better serve our customers,” said Sani, who co-founded the magazine with Bill Tanler in 1991.

Steve Frothingham, BRAIN’s editor-in-chief, said finding a new home for the brand in Boulder, alongside the VeloNews team, will improve overall coverage of the industry. “I’m thrilled BRAIN has found a trusted partner and a new home, particularly given the rapidly changing media landscape,” he said.  Frothingham once worked for VeloNews before rejoining BRAIN. “Joining with them will give us the support we need to better focus on the critical coverage that IBDs and the industry need to make business decisions in this uncertain environment,” Frothingham added