Whistle Sports Scoops Up $28M
“This is more than just an investment. It is an innovative collaboration with a leader in social content creation and distribution that will help Aser’s portfolio to engage these young audiences by creating exciting, engaging and positive content that today’s fans love to watch and share,” said Radrizzani, founder and chairman, Aser, and new member of the Whistle Sports Board of Directors.
Whistle Sports plans to use the proceeds of the investment in part to expand its catalogue of free and premium original content with brand partners and creators including Dude Perfect – the team behind the third most subscribed to creator YouTube channel – DevinSuperTramp, and The F2, among others, on both OTT and Whistle Sports distribution platforms.
The wider collaboration with Aser will extend to its subsidiaries including ELEVEN SPORTS, the leading global sports service founded by Aser in 2015, and will also accelerate Whistle Sports’ international expansion. Aser focuses on investment in media across a variety of platforms and adopts an innovative approach to content distribution to reach engaged and sought-after audiences globally. This is evidenced in the rapid rise of ELEVEN SPORTS, which has capitalized on changes in the production, distribution and consumption of sports content. In just three years, ELEVEN SPORTS is present in ten markets following recent moves to the UK, Ireland and Portugal. The execution of Aser’s investment in Whistle Sports has been led by Aser Capital, Aser’s merchant banking arm.
“We are thrilled to receive an investment from – and partner with – a leading edge, dynamic and like-minded company such as Aser,” said John West, founder and CEO of Whistle Sports. “We are looking forward to partnering with their invaluable global network and the key relationships they possess in important markets in Asia, Europe and around the world as we look to expand the Whistle Sports footprint. Today’s young sports fans have global interests, and with Aser, we can reach and engage them in new and exciting ways.”
Whistle Sports launched in 2014 and is now the leader in the sports lifestyle segment globally, targeting young, post-Millennials. The company’s aggregate social audience of over 450 million subscribers, followers and fans, last month viewed videos across the 2,000 channels in the Whistle Sports network 1.7 billion times. With a library of over 560,000 videos, Whistle Sports surpasses all other US sports social media accounts in video views and audience numbers. Whistle Sports has a rapidly growing revenue stream with a 52% year-over-year growth rate and 132% compound annual growth rate.
The capital raised augments previous funding rounds for a total of nearly $100 million, which comprises investments by NBC Sports, Sky Sports, Tegna and U.K.-based venture-capital firm Beringea.
Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor to Whistle Sports in connection with this financing transaction.
About Whistle Sports
Whistle Sports creates, curates and distributes entertainment content that focuses on creativity, humor and skill. As a company born into a collaborative, social and digital world, Whistle Sports approaches programming though an engagement first lens to entertain and inspire today’s generation. From scripted shows to user generated content, Whistle Sports collaborates with brands, creators, athletes and tastemakers to produce engaging video content. Join the community and discover Whistle Sports’ latest series on YouTube and Facebook Watch. For more information, visit www.whistlesports.com.
Aser is a leading global investment company with a focus on creating value through innovation in sports and media. Aser brings together financial capital and a world-class team with deep-rooted expertise in the sports and media sectors, providing start-ups and established businesses with financial capital, strategic and commercial expertise, as well as outstanding leadership. Aser leverages its global insight and expertise in sports and media to buy, create, aggregate and distribute content. In addition to global sports provider ELEVEN SPORTS, Aser’s portfolio includes; full-service production company for the sport and media sectors, Easyprod; and English football team Leeds United. For more information, visit www.aser.com.
About Aser Capital
Aser Capital is the merchant banking arm of the Aser group. Aser Capital advises Aser and its portfolio companies on its investment decisions with a specific focus on developing new projects with co-investment partners. The aim of Aser Capital is to grow the group acquired and operated portfolio. Aser Capital will pursue global opportunities with an exclusive focus on sports media and digital properties, leveraging its own captive capital as well as raising external capital on a deal-by-deal basis. For more information, visit www.aser.com/capital/.
About ELEVEN SPORTS:
ELEVEN SPORTS is an award-winning global sports provider delivering world-class international and domestic sports and lifestyle entertainment to dedicated fans everywhere. Expanding globally, and with a deep understanding of the local fan, ELEVEN is challenging how live sport is packaged and delivered.
ELEVEN SPORTS delivers more than 30,000 LIVE hours of top class sporting action per year to over 17 million paying customers worldwide in Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. ELEVEN has recently made its first moves in the UK, Ireland and Portugal which are set to become the platform’s eighth, ninth and tenth markets with launches ahead of the 2018/19 domestic football season.
ELEVEN’s platform agnostic approach ensures that fans are engaged at all times, wherever they are; on-air, online including social media. ELEVEN’s OTT platform is at the core of its long-term strategy, offering fans a flexible viewing experience across all digital devices. ELEVEN delivers live coverage of premium sports in local languages, supplemented with news, comprehensive pitch-side and in-studio analysis, digital content and local programming. ELEVEN’s services are 24/7, multiscreen, full HD or 4K and locally produced to the highest international production standards.
NEW YORK, NY, Whistle Sports, the entertainment media brand that creates, curates and distributes content for young audiences, announced today it has raised over $28 million in funding.
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