The Buzzer app just added some serious heavy hitters to their investor sheet. The sports discovery app wrapped up $20 million in Series A funding, with 20 current and former athletes joining the fold, including Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan.
Sapphire Sport and Canaan Partners led the way on this funding round, with names like Naomi Osaka and NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes tossing their name behind the venture. Buzzer maintains partnerships with the NBA, NHL, and PGA. The app has not released a valuation after being founded last year.
Buzzer sends users notifications for key moments and links to buy one-time streaming access for those games. A company statement confirmed this new funding would go toward social feature development, new partnership avenues, and a boost for their staffing capabilities.
“We envision Buzzer becoming the discovery and curation tool that brings Gen Z fans back to live sports with simple access to ephemeral moments,” Buzzer founder and CEO Bo Han said in a statement. “We’ll continue to build Buzzer with fans’ interests in mind and with a partner-first approach that presents new opportunities for them to reach net-new audiences, define new revenue streams, and offer added value to their existing subscribers.”
The app lets users tune into bite-sized portions of their favorite teams or players’ games. Users follow teams or players, and the app sends them a notification when their favorites enter a highlight-rich portion of play. The shortest offerings are two minutes long and cost 99 cents, while the service is experimenting with longer streaming times.
“Sports media is experiencing an existential challenge,” Canaan general partner Maha Ibrahim said in a statement. “Buzzer presents a novel approach to reclaiming value in the $75 billion U.S. live sports market.”
Buzzer is in its infancy, but this technology could have serious staying power in our short-attention-span world.
WWE Announces NIL Program To Recruit College Athletes
“The WWE NIL program has the potential to be transformational to our business.”
There have been many crossover between college athletes and the WWE once those students’ playing careers are over. Now, the WWE is taking advantage of the new NIL rules in the NCAA. It could be a huge advancement for the company to recruit new talent.
WWE has constructed a comprehensive program to recruit and develop potential future Superstars. Dubbed “Next In Line,” the NIL program aims to enhance the talent development process through collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse athletic backgrounds.
“The WWE NIL program has the potential to be transformational to our business,” said Triple H, WWE’s Executive Vice President. “By creating partnerships with elite athletes at all levels across a wide variety of college sports, we will dramatically expand our pool of talent and create a system that readies NCAA competitors for WWE once their collegiate careers come to a close.”
Athletes who take part in the NIL deal will have access to the WWE’s performance center in Orlando as well as access to the resources that the athletes at the WWE receive including brand building, media training, communications, live event promotion, creative writing and community relations.
WWE dipped their toe into NIL deals this past September when they signed heavyweight freestyle wrestler Gable Steveson, who won both a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and a national championship at Minnesota. The deal allowed Steveson to return to Minnesota for his senior season while also beginning his training at the performance center to become a WWE Superstar.
WWE plans to unveil its first class of NIL deals in the next few weeks.
Keith Olbermann, Dave Portnoy Feud Over Michigan Shooting Victim
Keith Olbermann quote tweeted the post that Barstool made, blasting Barstool Sports for their political views
This Tuesday, Tate Myre, a young football player at a school in Michigan was among four kids killed trying to defend their fellow students against an armed gunman.
Barstool Sports tweeted a story highlighting his bravery, which lead to an interaction that grabbed some headlines of its own.
Longtime sports journalist and broadcaster Keith Olbermann quote tweeted the post, blasting Barstool Sports for their political views in the process.
Olbermann has a long-standing feud with Portnoy. The SportsCenter legend and former anchor at MSNBC and FOX Sports has had a lot to say about the culture of Barstool Sports in the past.
Keith Olbermann then referred to an excerpt from a Daily Beast story that details the political history of the suspect’s mother, who penned an open letter of support to then-President-elect Trump, which she posted on her blog in November 2016.
Barstool founder Dave Portnoy then responded to the statement of Keith Olbermann on social media.
Olbermann then doubled down later on his social media, calling out Barstool for in his opinion exploiting this story.
It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, this is just not the time of the place to be making a political statement. There are four victims of a tragic murder and the true story is that these young men and women lost their lives far too soon in a senseless act of violence.
FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn Backs Rollbacks In Ownership Limits
“Local broadcasting is vital to the lifeblood of every community.”
FCC nominee Gigi Sohn had some interesting things to say in regards to media ownership limits, and some things she has in mind would have a huge effect on media as we know it.
Sohn said that a rollback of media ownership limits has gone too far, and that a course reversal is necessary for the state of local media.
“There’s almost no media ownership rules left, and I do think we need to consider whether some of those need to be restored,” Gigi Sohn said during the nearly three-hour Senate hearing.
The current quadrennial media ownership review offers an opening to policymakers that she said the FCC should take advantage of. “I wonder if there might be new ways to encourage minority media ownership through that quadrennial.”
Sohn says that her criticism of media consolidation comes from a place of love and passion towards local radio and news outlets.
“Local broadcasting is vital to the lifeblood of every community. They alone among the communications platforms are dedicated to serving local communities with local emergency alerts, local news and so I think it’s critically important.”
Gigi Sohn backed a proposal in the pending “Build Back Better” legislation that would provide tax credits to local media outlets that hire local journalists to their companies.
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