PlayersVoice signs 'strategic partnership' with Fox Sports; secures $4m in funding

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 19 March 2018
Australian tennis ace Nick Kyrgios is backing athlete-generated media platform PlayersVoice.

Athlete-generated media platform PlayersVoice has sealed a “multi-year, multifaceted partnership” with Fox Sports to share content and commercial opportunities between the two platforms.

PlayersVoice launched in September, founded by ex-RadiumOne CEO Kerry McCabe, has already attracted 15 commercial partners in its first few months of business and grown its on-platform audience to 1.8m users.

It has also secured an estimated $4 million in new investment, including from Unlockd founder Matt Berriman and tennis star Nick Kyrgios, to help it grow in Australia and abroad.

The partnership with Fox Sports will involve “deep integrations” of PlayersVoice content into Fox Sports broadcast and digital assets.

“We share their vision for celebrating elite sports people and the joy and optimism of sport,” McCabe tells AdNews.

“Our ability in driving interest in sport, interest in following sports people and teams that leads to an increased viewership and so forth.

“It's a multi-year strategic partnership with significant value coming both ways in terms of content, audience and a shared investment in the future of sports offering.”

PlayersVoice's audience spends an average time of six minutes per story and skews younger and more female than other digital sports platforms.

It does this through first person content from 230 athletes, including Kyrgios, Socceroos goalkeeper Maty Ryan, Matildas star Sam Kerr, professional boxer Jeff Horn and surfing champ Sally Fitzgibbons, among a host of NRL, AFL and cricket stars.

The platform publishes long-form articles, podcasts and videos and has so far attracted 15 commercial partners to its relatively clean and clutter-free environment.

Kerry McCabeKerry McCabe

The human side of sports

The aim of the Fox Sports tie-up is for both parties to drive interest in sports and the personalities behind codes and clubs.

Fox Sports has been increasingly focusing on new content that focus more on the human side and personalities behind sports and athletes, including the popular NRL interview show League Life, which is hosted by Lara Pitt, Yvonne Sampson, Jess Yates and Hannah Hollis.

“My hope is that we will be able to work closely with them to supporting their story telling narrative and brining elite opportunities and sports people to further compliment and grow that product,” McCabe says.

“If you look at their investment into quality shows outside of live sports, they will be looking at us to help them in developing the quality, authenticity and richness of content.”

Fox Sports chief operating officer Peter Campbell says PlayersVoice's brand of athlete-generated storytelling will be a “great extension to the Fox Sports and Foxtel offering.

“Fans are hungry to learn more and hear from their favourite athletes and this is what PlayersVoice has unearthed. We look forward to building a strong partnership that will deliver unique and engaging content to sports lovers,” Campbell adds.

In terms of new funding, PlayersVoice secured Series A funding from current and new investors that it will use to help it create new products and enter international markets.

This includes investment from Berriman, a consortium of elite sports stars and Pact Group director Lydnsey Cattermole.

Berriman, who recently stepped down as CEO of Unlockd, has previously invested in Jules Lund's influencer business Tribe, while Cattermole is “passionate and heavily involved in sports”.

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