Hallelujah! Religion of Sports Raises $10 Million
Francesca Billington is a dot.LA editorial intern. She's previously reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. Before joining dot.LA, she was a communications fellow at an environmental science research center in Sri Lanka. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.
Sports media company Religion of Sports announced Thursday it has raised $10 million to build its storytelling brand.
The Santa Monica-based video startup was created in 2016 by football legend Tom Brady, filmmaker Gotham Chopra, and NFL Hall-of-Famer Michael Strahan. Their mantra: "Sports aren't like religion, sports are religion."
The company produces a range of content from short-form videos to podcasts to feature films, like Emmy Award-winning "Tom vs. Time," "Stephen vs. The Game," and "Shut Up and Dribble."
Tom Brady on his passion to play football | Tom vs. Time | VERSUS Series | Facebook Watch | www.youtube.com
"Our mission is to tell inspiring stories from the world of sports that explore greatness and human potential, social justice, diversity, inclusion and the meritocracy of competition," CEO Ameeth Sankaran told dot.LA. "These are inspirational stories that anyone can relate to — whether they are a sports fan or not — and now more than ever, the appetite for this type of content is even greater given the current climate we are all living in."
With the funding, Religion of Sports wants to scale up content across platforms and build brand awareness. They plan to release a slew of new projects, including a podcast in late 2020 and a nine-part documentary in 2021 about Brady's nine Super Bowl appearances.
The media network is also working on several video series with big name companies including Amazon, ESPN, Facebook, Netflix and Showtime.
"The new financing will enable us to grow our brand, grow internationally, create new content franchises and ancillary revenue streams," Sankaran said. "Our vision is to create a new type of sports media business that empowers diverse creators to tell stories across a multitude of platforms centered on Religion of Sports' singular narrative of 'why sports matter'."
The raise was backed by investors including Elysian Park, Advancit, Courtside Ventures, and LinkinFirm.
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