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Team Whistle's Joe Caporoso on joining DAZN Group

Mar 8, 2023

Team Whistle president Joe Caporoso. Photo illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios; Photo: courtesy Team Whistle

Team Whistle's new content strategy involves marketing the live sports rights of DAZN Group, its new parent company as of last month, president Joe Caporoso tells Axios.

Why it matters: As DAZN focuses on profitability, the international sports streaming company has sought to recoup the high cost of live sports rights by producing related content.

Catch up quick: Launched in 2014, Team Whistle started as a network of YouTube channels and later expanded to producing its own videos across social platforms. It specializes in sports-adjacent content, such as stories about athletes' hobbies, and now has 111 employees.

  • Team Whistle raised about $141 million from Aser, Jeffrey Katzenberg's WndrCo, Liberty Global, NBC Sports and others. It had acquired Elisabeth Murdoch's Vertical Networks, digital studio New Form and marketing services firm Tiny Horse.
  • Eleven Group announced its acquisition of Team Whistle in March 2021 and closed that May. DAZN announced its acquisition of both companies in September 2022 and closed it last month.

Details: Team Whistle continues to manage its creator network and its own slate of shows. But what's changed following these acquisitions is a goal to build more fandom around the players, teams and games related to its owner's live sports rights.

  • "We have a high level of social expertise that really focuses on non-live and what goes on around the game," Caporoso says from DAZN's office on the 71st floor at One World Trade Center. "How do you keep viewers' attention when the actual game isn't on?"
  • Team Whistle worked with Eleven to create two videos for its "No Days Off" franchise about two players — Sam Greenwood and Joe Gelhardt — on Leeds United, the English Premier League club that is majority owned by Eleven founder Andrea Radrizzani.
  • While Team Whistle has longstanding relationships with brands, agencies and social platforms, Caporoso says being part of DAZN helps it "get taken that much more seriously" and can help it sell bigger branded content deals, where it makes the majority of its revenue.

What's next: Another new strategy shift is its push to make more short-form content for YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels and TikTok, in addition to mid-form YouTube videos.

  • "Those [short-form] campaigns done right come in at a lot better margin," Caporoso says. "They're not as big as undertaking this from a production standpoint."
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