In addition to its audience growth, Whistle Sports built up a portfolio of monetization products that includes targeted media, such as social activations and amplification, as well as branded content and sponsored collaborations.
Disney, for instance, wanted to reach a millennial audience for a Paul Rudd movie, “Ant-Man.”
Whistle Sports helped it create a branded video integration with Dude Perfect, a popular YouTube sports network, where Rudd comically competed with the influencers in a “dizzy sports battle,” requiring the contestants spin heads-down around a baseball bat for 15 seconds before trying their luck at hitting a ball. The video description included embedded links to the movie.
The campaign also cross-amplified the video across various platforms, including Major League Baseball.
The campaign, which ran between June and July, produced 3,349,074 views on YouTube within two days, with 544,544 total engagements cross-platform. The average video session length was a healthy five minutes and 44 seconds.
“If you’re a brand, we’re saying, ‘Here are six creators you might want to partner with who get 3 million loops on Vine daily,’” Selander said. “We have a community-based perspective to creating where we really embrace our 130 million fans, [but at the same time] tell brand partners that the tweet or content they’re sponsoring will never be next to something questionable.”
One priority in Whistle’s playbook is more original video and content licensing agreements. Following an investment from UK broadcaster Sky, Whistle Sports and Sky Sports collaborated on a new social channel for youth-oriented football fans.
Whistle Sports also just inked a partnership with Verizon-AOL’s new mobile video network, Go90, which will spur the creation of seven original series with more than 86 episodes.
“We look for partners that make it easy to share, like or clip content,” Selander said. “They [Go90] had a mindset toward social native when they launched it, which provides much greater infrastructure for content.”