Overtime raises $100 million series D
Overtime, a sports media company targeting Gen-Z and millennials, has raised $100 million in series D funding, its co-founder and president Zack Weiner told Axios.
Why it matters: The latest round values the six-year-old company at over $500 million, according to a source familiar with the figures.
The big picture: Overtime is one of the biggest media companies, let alone sports media companies, targeted specifically towards Gen-Z audiences on social media.
- The company grew its massive following by leaning into the social media fandom of young athletes and social media personalities.
- It currently produces over 50 digital shows about sports lifestyle and culture across its massive online footprint, which includes more than 65 million followers across all of its 80 social media channels.
Details: The series D round is being led by Liberty Media Corporation, which owns several sports and media entities including Formula 1, the Atlanta Braves, SiriusXM and Live Nation, in conjunction with return investor Counterpoint Global, an investment fund from Morgan Stanley.
- Winslow Capital, a growth equity firm, is joining as a new investor. Existing investors, including Jeff Bezos' personal investment company, Blackstone and Sapphire Sport, are also participating in the new round.
Between the lines: The funding will be used to grow Overtime's new sports leagues, Overtime Elite (OTE) for basketball and OT7 for football, and create more leagues for other sports down the line.
- OTE is basketball league that targets high-school or post-grad athletes before they are eligible to enter professional league drafts. OTE athletes typically partake in part-time college courses or internships. OT7 is seven-on-seven football league that also caters to high-school athletes.
- Overtime built both leagues from scratch. It constructed a 103,000 square foot arena in Atlanta, and hired over 100 people—including coaching staff, tutors and marketing and content professionals—to staff the leagues.
- Overtime leverages the athletes' social media followings to build audiences around the leagues. Eventually, they plan sell distribution rights for the games.
- The leagues have caught the attention of many high-profile athletes, fans and even professional league scouts. Because so many youngsters are engaged, brands have flocked to the franchises.
By the numbers: Overtime has raised a total of $250 million to date from heavy hitters in sports, tech and entertainment.
- Last year, it raised $80 million in a series C round that including Drake, Jeff Bezos’ investment firm, and dozens of NBA payers, including high-profile names like Lonzo Ball and Devin Booker.
- "We've been eight figures in revenue for a few years now and have been doubling every single year," Weiner said.
- Overtime currently employs over 250 people across the country.
Be smart: Overtime for years made most of its money on advertising and sponsorships around its social media content and streaming videos.
- As it expands into new business lines, like launching its own sports leagues, it's beginning to make more revenue from things like licensing and e-commerce.
- For example, the company struck a licensing deal with Topps, the trading card company, in 2021 to create trading cards for its league athletes. Overtime also partners with celebrities on streetwear merchandise sales.
What's next: "Our goal is continue to grow and expand and seek profitability... but still invest into the company," Weiner said.