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Volume 24 No. 113


The Whistle, a startup sports content developer aimed at youth audiences, has struck a cross-platform content and distribution deal with the Harlem Globetrotters, further extending a recent run of deals with sports properties and governing bodies. Following up on recent pacts with U.S. Soccer, the USOC and another agreement earlier this year with the NFL, the Globetrotters deal allows The Whistle to create a series of programming featuring both current and former Globetrotters. Content will appear on platforms including NBC Sports Network,, YouTube and channels distributed through video gaming consoles. Financial terms were not disclosed, but similar to the prior deals, the Globetrotters alignment was structured as a licensing agreement in which The Whistle pays for access to the content. The Whistle, targeting youths aged 6 to 16, is slated for a late September launch. "It's really easy to see the ideals match up on this one. Our goals and target audience are exactly the same. So this one took literally about 15 minutes to frame out," said The Whistle co-Foudner & CMO Jeff Urban. The deal also is seen as a helpful tool to further engender the current crop of Globetrotters to youth audiences, as the latest team is undeniably more athletic than the classic squads of the '60s and '70s, but does not have broadly known personalities. "Over the last few years, kids have been Globetrotters fans, but primarily because their parents brought them to our events. It's been a more passive fandom," said Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider. "What we can do through things like The Whistle is build a more active fandom among the youth audience where we can showcase our players as not only great players, but great entertainers and great people."