Photos by Kevin Leclaire and Brian Canniff – UltiPhotos.com
The Whistle, the first sports-focused multichannel network, added Major League Ultimate to its catalog of pro league partners this week.
Per the partnership, The Whistle will work with MLU to develop and promote content on its YouTube channels, including behind the scenes and cross-channel programming on its digital platforms, including its website, mobile apps and YouTube through its multi-channel sports network (The Whistle Network).
Additionally, The Whistle will provide MLU experienced advice, audience insights, studio space and production facilities in New York, access to The Whistle’s pro league partners and sports-specific community tools to help expand their digital presence.
“Combining one of the fastest growing sports in the world with one of the fastest growing platforms for sports entertainment makes perfect sense,” said Dev Sethi, the Whistle’s Head of Content Partnerships. “Digital audiences move quickly and so does the sport of Ultimate. Our subscribers are eager to see more and the league’s teams and athletes are eager to share more tips, tricks and compelling content.”
“Connecting with new fans and athletes is a core value of Major League Ultimate, and The Whistle’s focus on programming tailored to a digital generation fits perfectly with the goals of our organization,” said Jeff Snader, MLU Commissioner. “We can’t wait to see what we can do together to produce quality content on all of the platforms where those fans are looking for sports.”
Launched on New Year’s Eve with the support of pro league partners and content creators like Dude Perfect, the Whistle Network has scaled rapidly. The network is one of the top five sports destinations on YouTube in North America with 3.46 million subscribers, 48 channel partners and a library of over 2,900 videos that have been seen over 425 million times featuring creators, athletes, brands and leagues.
In addition to MLU, The Whistle’s professional league content and equity partners include Major League Baseball’s Advanced Media, the NFL, PGA Tour, NASCAR, Major League Lacrosse, and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
“Having a partner with the kind of digital expertise The Whistle offers is beyond exciting,” said Nic Darling, MLU Executive Vice President. “Major League Ultimate had over 2.5 million views on our YouTube channel in our inaugural year. We hope to grow that number exponentially in our second year and believe the innovative thinking The Whistle Network provides can help us reach that goal.”
MLU plans to live stream 24 games in 2014, including its two conference championships and the MLU championship game on its YouTube channel.
The Whistle Network’s leadership team includes The Whistle’s founder and CEO John West, a successful entrepreneur who has started, grown and sold multiple companies; co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Urban, a former SVP of Sports Marketing at Gatorade; Whistle Network head Kikla, a founding member of the YouTube Sports team; and Head of Partner Operations Dev Sethi, a founding member of YouTube’s online acquisition team.