The Whistle Announces its October Launch
Officials have announced the upcoming launch of The Whistle, the first cross-platform content provider focused exclusively on developing sports programming tailored to kids. The new venture, which is based in New York, is led by an experienced team of sports and entertainment industry veterans.
At the helm of the venture are founder and chairman John West, a serial entrepreneur; co-founder and chief marketing officer Jeff Urban, the former SVP of sports marketing for Gatorade; and co-founder and chief creative officer Kit Laybourne, a former executive producer for Nickelodeon, MTV, and Oxygen. The investor team includes Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, Mia Hamm, Bob DuPuy, Geraldine Laybourne, Bob Pittman, and Mark Adams.
“Our mission is to provide kids with entertaining and instructional sports content integrated across both traditional and emerging distribution platforms,” says West. “We are creating a revolutionary media experience to assist kids in developing a lifelong bond with sports and fitness.”
“With the many challenges facing today’s youth, pro leagues and advertisers are seeking to align with companies that encourage kids to lead active lifestyles,” says Urban. “We’ve been pleased with the interest from the pro leagues and several leading advertisers, and we will be announcing these partnerships over the next several months.”
The Whistle’s website launches in October 2011. The new online video destination, along with a suite of mobile applications to debut at a later date, is powered by NeuLion, an end-to-end technology service provider that delivers live and on-demand content to any Internet-enabled device. NeuLion has a foothold in the digital sports market with premier sports services for the National Hockey League (NHL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and Major League Soccer (MLS). Over the coming months, The Whistle will announce distribution agreements with cable, satellite, online video, web portal, mobile, and gaming console partners.
“We are creating the next generation of sports content for kids by combining new interactive digital technologies with successful TV programming approaches,” says Kit Laybourne. “Production is underway on a range of programming, including sports news and highlights, health and fitness series, dramas, history and bios, game shows, and more.”