While other multi-channel networks tout their creators' deep connection with their audiences through personal vlogging or comedy skits full of millennial humor, Whistle Sports believes it can resonate in a more meaningful way: Its talent bonds with viewers through their mutual love of sports.
"We are not building the sports network for millennials," Whistle Sports CEO John West said Wednesday at the network's first Digital Content NewFronts presentation. "We are building the sports community with millennials."
Whistle Sports—whose investors include former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning—reaches 78 million fans across its social media platforms, and it's adding about 2 million each week. While its audience is currently 80 percent male, West said more women are viewing the network's content. It's also scored key partnerships with the NFL, PGA Tour, Major League Baseball, Nascar, Major League Lacrosse and professional beach volleyball tour AVP.
Whistle Sports then previewed some of its upcoming shows:
- Faceoff – A look inside the members of Dude Perfect's daily lives and what it takes to keep them in shape as trickshot masters
- Brody Smith's World Tour – The ultimate Frisbee champion takes viewers on a trip around the globe. His fans set the itinerary and suggest places he should perform trick shots.
- Running The Pitch – e-gamer AirJapes takes on real soccer fans in FIFA video games. The loser has to wear the opposing team's jersey and sit with die-hard fans.
- Challenge Accepted – Athletes like NBA player Jeremy Lin and lacrosse star Paul Rabil ask each other to complete ludicrous tasks like moving a cookie from your forehead to your mouth using your facial muscles or trying to complete the cinnamon challenge.
- MVP (Most Valuable Prank) – Fans are foiled by their favorite athletes but then treated to the ultimate experience in which their sports dreams come true.
To cement the fact that there's a little bit of a sports fan in everyone, Whistle Sports let advertisers mingle with its creators including Rabil, the guys behind Dude Perfect (who tossed footballs into the crowd), pool shark Florian Kohler of Venom Trickshots and the Harlem Globetrotters.