Digital sports network The Whistle is going to manage and monetize Harlem Globetrotters’ YouTube channel as part of a partnership announced Wednesday.
The Whistle plans to distribute Globetrotters’ content beyond its own multichannel network — the team’s videos will appear on Xbox this summer, and its pro-league partners (which include the NFL, MLB and NASCAR) will highlight the content across their own platforms.
“The Globetrotters are a great mix of skill, speed, talent and humor that make them a perfect fit for digital media platforms in general, and The Whistle specifically,” said Brian Selander, spokesperson for The Whistle, in an email.
The Globetrotters have a YouTube audience that skews younger and male, but their family-friendly antics attract a wide demo. With the partnership, the team expects to see “more humor, more personality, more action — including collaborations with other Whistle channels,” said Brett Meister, SVP of communications, Harlem Globetrotters International.
The Whistle Network, which launched in January and already has 69 channel partners and 4 million subscribers, last week announced it raised $10 million in funding led by SeventySix Capital. Other investors include former Major League Baseball president Bob DuPuy; former Nickelodeon and Disney Cable president Geraldine (Gerry) Laybourne; Clear Channel CEO (and former CEO of AOL and MTV) Bob Pittman and pro athletes like Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning.
“Our partners range from pro-leagues playing in stadiums to incredible amateur athletes filming impossible shots in their own backyard,” added Selander.