By Sahil Patel
The Harlem Globetrotters are joining The Whistle’s sports multi-channel network.
Per the deal, which makes The Whistle Network the team’s exclusive network partner, The Whistle will oversee management, optimization, and multi-platform distribution for the Globetrotter’s YouTube content. Currently, the team has just one channel on the world’s biggest video site, reaching more than 84,000 subscribers.
Launched in January 2014, The Whistle Network today accounts for more than 4 million subscribers across 69 channel partners on YouTube. To date, the network has generated more than 557 million views.
As part of the Globetrotter’s multi-faceted deal with The Whistle, the organization plans to make more content for its YouTube channel. In some cases, new videos could feature other Whistle partners, including top creators like Dude Perfect and Brodie Smith, as well as athletes from the company’s pro-sports league partners.
The Whistle’s list of pro-sports investors and content partners include the NFL, MLB Advanced Media, PGA Tour, NASCAR, Major League Lacrosse, the US Ski and Snowboard Association, and Major League Ultimate.
By linking up with The Whistle, the Globetrotters will also have access to the usual revenue opportunities via custom branded integrations and entertainment, in addition to the revenue it’ll make off of The Whistle’s network-wide sales deals.
Relatively new to the MCN space, The Whistle is led by an executive team that includes CEO John West, co-founder and CMO Jeff Urban (former SVP of sports marketing at Gatorade), and former YouTube executives Julie Kikla and Dev Sethi.
The company recently closed a $10 million investment from media heavyweights including ex-MLB president Bob DuPuy, ex-Nickelodeon and Disney Cable president Gerry Laybourne, and Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman. Earlier investors include Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter, among other sports celebrities.