After closing of the A Bola acquisition, Ringier Sports Media Group appoints new Managing Director

  • Ringier Sports Media Group AG (RSMG) acquired Sociedade Vicra Desportiva SA including A Bola  (newspaper, digital and TV) and AutoFoco magazine from Vicontrol SGPS S.A.  
  • RSMG is part of the Ringier Group, a family owned 190 years old Media and Technology Company, based in Switzerland
  • The transaction enables RSMG to focus even more on its growth and investment strategy in the field of sports media content and fan community business
  • Felipe Montesinos Gomes has been appointed as Managing Director to lead the implementation of a digital-first strategy and to take A Bola to the next stage of its development as one of Portugal’s heritage brands
  • Ricardo Peres joins A Bola’s management team as Director

Zurich and Lisbon, July 17, 2023

The Ringier Sports Media Group AG (RSMG) is thrilled to announce a significant milestone: the successful completion of the acquisition of Sociedade Vicra Desportiva SA including A Bola  (newspaper, digital and TV)  and AutoFoco magazine from Vicontrol SGPS S.A. This move marks an important step in RSMG’s growth and positions it well for further opportunities in the sports media industry. A Bola is Portugal’s most renowned and iconic sports media brand with sizable audiences also in Brazil and Portuguese-speaking Africa, making it a global player. 

Robin Lingg, Chairman of the Ringier Sports Media Group: “The acquisition of A Bola aligns perfectly with our long-term vision and will contribute to RSMG’s growth plans. We firmly believe that this union will accelerate our progress and create a stronger, more competitive enterprise. Together with the local team, we will strive to achieve even greater heights and deliver exceptional value to our customers.” He continues: “This is an incredible opportunity to bring together two great organizations with a shared vision for the future of sports media. The acquisition of A Bola will guarantee its long-term sustainability of A Bola. RSMG will ensure the continuation of the quality journalism that A Bola stands for, combined with required repositioning steps to lead A Bola into a successful future.”

Stilian Shishkov, Senior Partner of Ringier Sports Media Group: “By bringing A Bola – an iconic sports media brand – to RSMG, we show our commitment to continue developing a highly innovative digital  sports company. This is an important investment and perfect addition to our already strong portfolio of leading sports media brands. We are extremely pleased with what is coming over the next months for A Bola with the massive technological improvements and many new services we will introduce to the sports fans.”

Mário Arga e Lima, the main shareholder of A Bola expressed his confidence that Ringier will continue to uphold its legacy: “I am pleased that we have reached an agreement with RSMG and the Ringier publishing family, to ensure the continuity of A Bola. I am convinced that Ringier, together with RSMG, will continue to build on the A Bola legacy of the last 78 years,” said Mário Arga e Lima, main shareholder of Vicontrol SGPS S.A. “We are impressed by RSMG’s commitment to quality and ambition to add value to their audience. It is with mixed feelings that I will observe the new chapter in the life of A Bola.”

Felipe Montesinos Gomes appointed as Managing Director to implement digital-first strategy

The Board of Directors of the Ringier Sports Media Group has appointed Felipe Montesinos Gomes as the new Managing Director of A Bola.  Felipe Gomes has extensive experience in the world of sports, ranging from a career as a professional athlete to that of a sponsor for the Portuguese sports industry as a partnerships director of Heineken / Sagres and the telecommunications company NOS. 

Robin Lingg: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Felipe Montesinos Gomes as the new Managing Director of A Bola. With an impressive track record of leadership and a deep understanding of the sports industry, Felipe brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of experience to lead A Bola into a new era of growth and innovation. Felipe will work closely with the former Managing Director of A Bola, Paulo Cardoso. Paulo will further play an important role supporting us to implement our new strategy. There will be further additions to the A Bola leadership team in the upcoming weeks.”

Felipe Montesinos Gomes, newly appointed Managing Director of A Bola: “I am deeply honored and thrilled to be entrusted with the role of Managing Director of A Bola. I am excited to embark on this journey, leading A Bola in partnership with RSMG to new heights of success, innovation, and prosperity.”

Paulo Cardoso, former Managing Director of A Bola: “Leadership is not only about driving change, but embracing it with unwavering commitment. As the former Managing Director of A Bola, I am honored to continue my journey with Ringier Sports Media Group, working with the new owners and the new Managing Director Felipe Montesinos Gomes. Together we will break new ground and harness the power of our collective expertise to implement a bold new strategy that will shape the future. I am honored to be part of this transformative journey.”

In addition to the appointment of the new Managing Director Felipe Montesinos Gomes, Ricardo Peres joins A Bola’s management team with immediate effect as Director. With his extensive experience in human resources management at multinational companies such as Heineken, Vodafone, NetJets, Lagunitas, The Navigator Company Group and Generali, Ricardo Peres will bring his proven track record in driving business and cultural change through strategic HR initiatives, organizational change and innovative leadership to A Bola. 

The Ringier Sports Media Group is constantly and strategically investing in the sports media sector with the goal of attaining a prominent global position by consolidating leading digital sports media brands. Presently, these brands encompass Sportal Media Group in Bulgaria, comprising and Sportal365; Gazeta Sporturilor and in Romania; in Serbia; in Hungary; in Slovakia; Pulse Sport in Africa; and in Greece. The recent strategic investment in the British LiveScore Group in 2022 further underscores RSMG’s worldwide aspirations.

RSMG capitalizes on advanced technology and a team of accomplished sports journalists and media professionals to deliver exceptional value to its audience and advertisers. By placing a strong emphasis on digital expertise and state-of-the-art digital publishing solutions, the group is dedicated to expanding and enhancing its existing brands, including A Bola, through strategic investments and resource allocation.

About Ringier Sport Media Group (RSMG)

RSMG unites national market leaders in sports media with global tech solutions. With eight brands and more to join, RSMG reaches 30M+ sports fans monthly from Central Europe to Western Africa. RSMG was founded in summer 2022 as a subsidiary of the Swiss-based Ringier AG, a media and tech company. The family-owned enterprise believes in entrepreneurship, collaboration, innovation, trust and courage for 190 years.

About Ringier AG

Ringier is a Swiss media and technology company. The Group comprises around 140 companies in 19 countries, which operate a range of leading media brands, digital platforms, and marketplaces. Almost 80 percent of the operating profit comes from the digital business. This makes Ringier one of the leading media companies in Europe. The family business has been based on entrepreneurship, cooperation, innovation, trust and courage for 190 years.

About A Bola

A Bola is a prominent sports newspaper based in Portugal that covers a wide range of national and international sports news, with a strong focus on football. The newspaper was first published on January 29, 1945, making it one of the oldest and most respected sports publications in the country. A Bola has gained a significant reputation for its comprehensive coverage of football, providing in-depth analysis, match reports, player interviews, and transfer news. The newspaper covers both domestic Portuguese leagues, such as the Primeira Liga, and major international competitions, including the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup. Apart from football, A Bola also covers other sports such as basketball, handball, tennis, motorsports, and more. The newspaper features articles, opinion pieces, and editorials from a team of experienced sports journalists and experts. A Bola is known for its strong ties with the Portuguese football community and has developed close relationships with players, coaches, and club officials. It is often regarded as a reliable source of information for football enthusiasts, providing accurate and up-to-date news and analysis. Over the years, A Bola has earned a loyal readership and has become an essential source of sports information in Portugal. Its comprehensive coverage, journalistic integrity, and deep knowledge of the sports landscape have contributed to its enduring popularity among sports fans and professionals alike.