By Evan DeSimone
Uninterrupted, the digital media site launched by NBA star LeBron James, has picked up $15.8 million in funding from high profile backers Warner Brothers Entertainment and Turner Sports.
The site, which launched just over a year ago, offers professional athletes an opportunity to tell their stories, and build their brands, with original content ranging from short form video to original scripted content and ongoing series. The funding from Warner Brothers Entertainment and Turner Sports, both of which are Time Warner owned companies, will be used to grow the platform, generate new content, and expand Uninterrupted’s original series offerings.
In addition to investing cash in Uninterrupted, Turner Sports will also perform sales functions for the emerging media site. The funding announcement was coupled with news that Uninterrupted would partner with Verizon’s mobile video platform Go90 to produce original series and short-form digital content. That multi-year deal was brokered by Turner Sports.
The additional funding comes with additions to Uninterrupted growing executive team, new president Jamal Henderson, who until recently headed integrated marketing and brand development strategies for PepsiCo. The company will also add Yelp’s Matthew Trunzo as the head of business development and former Samsung Telecom America media partnership boss Amber Mayo as head of marketing. NBA writer and former Staance product manager Jimmy Spencer will serve as head of content.
Time Warner’s interest in Uninterrupted isn’t surprising. Original sports content has been a growth area in digital media throughout 2015, a year that saw the emergence of numerous niche sports streaming sites and the launch of digital platforms by established sporting organizations including the NFL and the Players Union. In October ,Broadway Video’s digital arm Above Average launched The Kicker, a sports-focused comedy site that offers athletes the chance to build their personal brand and connect with dedicated sports fans through original video content, a mission similar to that of Uninterrupted.