NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Whistle Sports Network, the first social sports network built from the ground up across the social platforms where young millennials consume video, today announces it has raised $28 million in Series B financing.
Emil Capital Partners, an affiliate of the Tengelmann Group, led the round, which also included Sky Broadcasting and Liberty Global, the world’s largest international cable company. The Series B also included investors from the $8 million Series A completed in 2012, including recently retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
“This latest investment reflects our commitment to partnering with entrepreneurs that are creating valuable consumer-focused companies,” said Andreas Guldin, CEO of Emil Capital Partners. “Whistle Sports is changing sports media consumption habits and have become the destination for millions of young millennial sports fans around the world. Partnering with them to continue their impressive growth trajectory is a strategic win for us.”
“Whistle Sports fits our investment criteria, as they are truly game-changing with a great team, strong partners and demonstrated leadership in their field,” said Simon Freer, Chief Commercial Officer at Liberty Global. "We've kept a close eye on the company’s rapid international expansion and are excited to be part of their dramatic growth."
Whistle Sports is building a community across the 1 billion young global millennials by partnering with both pro sports, Olympic franchises and emerging YouTube sports creators. Pro and Olympic partners include the NFL, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the PGA Tour, NASCAR, Major League Lacrosse, National League Lacrosse, US Skiing and Snowboarding and the Harlem Globetrotters. YouTube sports partners include Dude Perfect, Brodie Smith, UK-based soccer experts STRSkill School and hundreds of others.
Whistle Sports has a rapidly growing library of over 35,000 videos covering a wide variety of sports including football, basketball, baseball, and soccer, alongside emerging sports such as football freestyle, skateboarding, trick shots, and Ultimate Frisbee. The short-form videos curate the best sports content surrounding live events, including trick shots, instructional, behind the scenes. The content is entertaining and inspirational, with proven audience engagement and sharing.
“I believe in Whistle Sports’ mission of inspiring young fans with what's best in sports and their focus on the values that drive success on and off the field,” said Peyton Manning. “The content is great and it is clear that they're growing quickly."
Whistle Sports’ phased launch began with its multi-channel network on YouTube in January of 2014, which has scaled to 12 million subscribers and 225 channel partners whose videos have been viewed over 2 billion times. Since expanding across additional social video platforms including Facebook, Vine, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, its reach is now 50 million, and is growing by over 10 million each month.
“We are reaching and engaging a huge demographic of digital natives, who have very different sports media consumption patterns and requirements. This additional capital enables us to rapidly accelerate and support the growth of our community as they redefine what sports media means to them." said John West, Founder and CEO, Whistle Sports.
About Whistle Sports
Whistle Sports is the first sports social network created to serve young millennial fans and athletes by curating and creating authentic content across the social video platforms they live on. The company's owners, investors and content partners include sports heroes such as Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning and pro league partners like the NFL, PGA Tour, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, Major League Lacrosse, AVP (pro volleyball), Major League Soccer and the Harlem Globetrotters. Whistle Sports currently has studio offices in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles and London.