Aser makes major Whistle Sports investment

Andrea Radrizzani’s firm leads US$28m funding round for digital media network.

Aser makes major Whistle Sports investment

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Aser, the global investment firm founded by Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani, has made an equity investment in digital sports content network Whistle Sports.

The announcement came as Whistle Sports confirmed that it has raised US$28 million as part of an ongoing Series D funding round. The new funding round is being led by Aser, while existing investors including Liberty Media, Emil Capital and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo also participated.

The move sees Radrizzani, who through Aser also launched international broadcaster Eleven Sports in 2015, join the Whistle Sports board of directors.

“Whistle Sports and their highly influential content creation partners have a proven track record of connecting brands, including some of the biggest names in sport such as NFL, MLB and Nascar, with hard-to-reach younger audiences,” said Radrizzani.

“This is more than just an investment. It is an innovative collaboration with a leader in social content creation and distribution that will help Aser’s portfolio to engage these young audiences by creating fun, relatable content that today’s fans love to watch and share.”  

Aser’s investment will enable its subsidiaries, including Eleven Sports, to leverage Whistle Sports’ portfolio of brand partners and creators, which include popular YouTube figures Dude Perfect and F2Freestylers. Whistle Sports will also assist Aser and its portfolio of companies to deliver a new form of storytelling which brings together sports, humour, entertainment and pop culture.

Meanwhile, the deal will allow Whistle Sports to tap into Aser’s local content expertise and global distribution network to support its international expansion plans.

John West, founder and chief executive of Whistle Sports, added: “We are looking forward to leveraging [Aser’s] invaluable global network and the key relationships they possess in important markets around the world as we look to develop and expand the Whistle Sports footprint.”

The investment marks the latest in a string of deals recently agreed by Aser, which last month announced a strategic partnership with 49ers Enterprises, an investment entity affiliated with the National Football League’s (NFL) San Francisco 49ers, that sees the latter become a minority owner of English soccer side Leeds United.