NEW YORK — Whistle Sports, a digital sports media content company and community, has raised a Series C with funding from TEGNA Inc., NBC Sports Ventures, Sky and Emil Capital. The company did not reveal the amount invested but Variety reports the funding was $20 million.
Whistle Sports brings together 400 of the world’s most engaging digital and social media sports stars and creates compelling cross-platform content with them that is actively shared and supported by a community of fans and followers. The community recently topped 170 million aggregate reach across all social channels and has been growing by more than two million a week. TEGNA Inc. and NBC Sports Ventures are new investors in the company. Series C participants Sky and Emil Capital announced a previous investment in the company in 2014 during its Series B. The company has raised more than $60 million to date.
“Whistle Sports has activated and inspired a new generation of sports fans and followers. Our strength in distribution coupled with their innovative content, will create numerous opportunities for both companies to grow across platforms,” said Gracia Martore, President and CEO of TEGNA, Inc. “This investment and strategic partnership will not only enable both of our companies to reach valuable new audiences, it will also combine our respective expertise to create more innovative content and advertising solutions.”
“Whistle Sports has successfully captured the imaginations, attention and engagement of millennial sports fans, and consistently delivers compelling content and options to brands and agencies eager to connect with that critical and growing demographic,” said Rick Cordella, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “Whistle Sports has proven to be a reliable source of original and creative content, and their data-driven approach to developing new audience insights sets them up for an even stronger future.”
In the last year, Whistle Sports launched multiple new series on digital and linear platforms; delivered commercial content integrations and advertising campaigns for leading brands including athletic apparel companies, movie studios, food franchises and auto manufacturers; developed exciting content and social amplification for its existing pro league partners; and expanded its data analytics and insights practice to serve clients looking for research into millennial sports fans. The new funding will accelerate growth in each of those areas.
“We launched the company with the belief that young millennial fans were looking for new ways to engage with sports and built a team and community committed to serving them on the places and platforms where they were spending more of their time. I’m so proud of the incredible work they’ve done to deliver consistent growth in both audience and revenue,” said Whistle Sports founder and CEO John West. “We are thrilled by the enthusiasm, confirmation and commitment from these exceptional companies and their strong support for our continued growth.”