SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith, Elizabeth White

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Harlem Globetrotters Join The Whistle Network

The Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their fans, their players, their excitement and their history to The Whistle Network, the first multichannel sports and entertainment network on YouTube. As the team’s exclusive network partner on YouTube, The Whistle will be responsible for management and optimization of all Globetrotter YouTube channels and assist with content distribution to other platforms.

Globetrotter star Hacksaw Hall dunks over a referee. The Globetrotters announced an exclusive partne ...

Globetrotter star Hacksaw Hall dunks over a referee. The Globetrotters announced an exclusive partnership this morning with The Whistle Network for YouTube content and management. (Photo: Business Wire)

“The Globetrotters have been filling arenas for years and their talent and humor is a perfect fit for digital video platforms. Their commitment to dramatically expand their digital presence is a perfect fit for the sports entertainment platform we’ve built at The Whistle,” said John West, the company’s founder and CEO.

Under the agreement, the Globetrotters channel and its 82,000 YouTube subscribers will become part of The Whistle Network, which launched on January 1 and has scaled rapidly to four million subscribers, 69 channel partners and 557 million total views.

“For 88 years, the Harlem Globetrotters have been entertaining fans all over the world with our unique brand of family entertainment – now we’ve introduced them to a new generation of stars, like Big Easy Lofton, Flight Time Lang, Ant Atkinson and Bull Bullard,” said Harlem Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider. “The Globetrotters develop content that thrills fans wherever and whenever they want, and that is why we are excited for the future and continuing our partnership with The Whistle.”

Per the partnership, The Whistle will work with Globetrotters organization to develop and promote content on its YouTube channels, including behind the scenes and cross-channel programming on its digital platforms, including its website, mobile apps and on YouTube through its multi-channel sports network (The Whistle Network).

“Our investment in publishing a greater volume of quality entertainment to the Globetrotters’ 'Amazing Feats of Basketball' YouTube channel is delivering real ROI. We have established YouTube as the brand’s biggest global entertainment platform. We are excited to work with The Whistle Network and collaborate with its channel creators on our common goal of engaging more fans around our awesome content on multiple platforms,” said Harlem Globetrotters EVP Brand Marketing Angela Leaney.

The Whistle's Network’s leadership team includes CEO John West, a successful entrepreneur who has started, grown and sold multiple companies; co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Urban, a former SVP of Sports Marketing at Gatorade; Head of Content Partnerships Julie Kikla, a founding member of the YouTube Sports team; and Head of Partner Operations Dev Sethi, a founding member of YouTube’s on-line acquisition team. The Whistle’s pro league investors and content partners include the NFL, Major League Baseball Advanced MediaPGA TourNASCAR, Major League Lacrosse, the US Ski and Snowboard Association and Major League Ultimate.

Under the agreement, The Globetrotters will increase the production of content on their YouTube channel with The Whistle's channel management support. The partnership also includes the possible collaborations with The Whistle Network’s roster of YouTube stars like DudePerfect and Brodie Smith and athletes from The Whistle’s pro league partners. In addition, the agreement gives the Globetrotters access additional revenue opportunities through The Whistle such as integrations and branded entertainment and makes their channel eligible for new revenue opportunities such as network-wide ad sales agreements.

ABOUT THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS:

Sponsored by Wonderful Pistachios, Howard Johnson Hotels, World Vision, Greyhound Lines and Baden Sports, The Harlem Globetrotters are celebrating their 88th consecutive year, continuing a world famous tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all ages. Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S. Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 122 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans-among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents-over more than eight thrilling decades. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, and to purchase tickets and team merchandise, visit the Globetrotters' official Web site: http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/.

About The Whistle:

The first sports entertainment platform and multi channel network (MCN), The Whistle empowers a new generation of fans by connecting them to their favorite sports, teams, creators, brands and professional athletes through The Whistle Network, which has grown since its January 1 launch to over 4M subscribers and 69 channel partners. The Whistle’s owners and investors include sports heroes such as Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning and Tim Wakefield, media pioneers including the former heads of Nickelodeon and MTV, and league equity and content partners like the NFL, Major League Baseball Advanced MediaPGA TourNASCARMajor League Lacrosse and US Ski and Snowboard Association.

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