Whistle Sports Network announced today that it has completed a $20 million Series C funding round including investments from TEGNA Inc. (formerly Gannett Co.), NBC Sports Ventures, Sky and Emil Capital.
TEGNA Inc. and NBC Sports Ventures are new. Sky and Emil Capital also invested in the company as part of its Series B funding round in 2014.
Launched in 2014, Whistle Sports has a network of more than 400 digital influencers and aggregated social reach of 170 million across platforms with partners that include big names such as the NFL, the PGA Tour, Major League Baseball, Major League Lacrosse and Sky.
Over the last year, Whistle Sports has expanded its programming with five new shows on Verizon’s Go90 (including “Closed Course,” “Record Smashers” and “Weird World of Sports”) and the linear TV series “Top Ten Trick Shots” on Nickelodeon. It has also partnered with brands including LG, Subaru and Wilson. For the latter, it executed the #MyWilson campaign, which had 16 creators including Brodie Smith, Shot Science, Skye Cowie and Daniel Cutting creating social videos that reached over 11 million viewers. It also expanded its data analytics practice to serve clients looking for insights into millennial sports fans. The new funding will accelerate growth all of those areas.
The Series C round is also expected to generate some synergies with NBC Sports and TEGNA Inc.
TEGNA Inc. has a portfolio of media properties that includes 46 television stations reaching approximately one-third of all television households nationwide, as well as digital platforms such as Cars.com and CareerBuilder.
“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,” said Gracia Martore, president and CEO of TEGNA Inc., in a statement.
To date, Whistle Sports has raised $60 million in funding. Previous investors include former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, recently-retired Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning, John Malone’s Liberty Global, Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, and SeventySix Capital.