SBJ/July 16-22, 2012/Media

Whistle, U.S. Soccer partner

The Whistle, the startup sports content developer aimed at youth audiences, has struck a cross-platform content and distribution agreement with U.S. Soccer, extending a run of alignments with sports properties and governing bodies.

Following a deal struck last month with the U.S. Olympic Committee, The Whistle will create a series of shows highlighting the U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams using both newly created and archival footage. Content will appear on platforms including NBC Sports Network, TheWhistle.com, YouTube and channels distributed through video gaming consoles such as Xbox 360.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but similar to the USOC deal, The Whistle paid Chicago-based U.S. Soccer a licensing fee to gain access to the U.S. Soccer content. Slated for a formal launch Sept. 21, The Whistle is targeting youths ages 6 to 16 and is backed by sports industry luminaries and pro athletes.

“We’re continuing to surround ourselves with top-flight sports brands, and connection to the national teams in a huge sport with kids like soccer is absolutely critical for us,” said Jeff Urban, The Whistle co-founder and chief marketing officer.

The Whistle earlier this year partnered with the NFL. More partnerships with sports properties are in the works, Urban said.

“This relationship allows us to connect the national teams better with younger fans and expand our demos,” said Michael Gressle, U.S. Soccer director of marketing, information technology, communications and events. “We do well in those core 18-34, 18-44, demos, but this allows us to expand the field.”

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