With the NBA season tipping off next week, Whistle Sports announced on Wednesday that it is adding a basketball vertical featuring 39 creator channels with an existing base of 5.4 million YouTube subscribers.
Channel partners within this new network include the Lakers’ Jeremy Lin, who joined Whistle Sports last month, along with BallisLife, ShotScience Basketball, Team Flight Brothers, I’m Possible Training, StrongerTeam, The Harlem Globetrotters, Baller Boot Camp, Team Sweat Basketball and Better Basketball. This is the second single-sport vertical within the multi-channel network — Whistle Sports acquired The Lacrosse Network (TLN) this summer.
Lin, who inspired fan fervor dubbed “Linsanity” during a 35-game run with the New York Knicks in 2012, is Whistle Sports’ marquee star, but more NBA stars could be joining the network soon.
“Because we’re at the unique intersection of pro leagues and digital content creators, we have had a number of pro-players approach us about launching their own channels,” says Brian Selander, EVP of Whistle Sports. “It is a great way to connect directly with fans and give them (outside the arena or stadium) access to your life.”
Launched in January, Whistle Sports has since accumulated 8.3. million subscribers and 1.25 billion views.
In September, Whistle Sports opened a London office, headed by YouTube’s former head of soccer/football Jeff Nathenson, which serves as a hub for all of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.