Blue Wire, a sports podcast company, has raised $5 million in its Series A, founder Kevin Jones told Axios.
Why is this important: The company, which focuses on long-form sports narrative podcasts and conversational podcasts, now hosts more than 140 podcasts with more than 20 million downloads for the year. It has $1.5 million in revenue in 2020 through sponsorship partnerships through brands like Chevy and Visa.
Details: The round is led by Dot Capital, which led its $1.2 million seed round in February. Dot is joined by Bettor Capital, Side Door Ventures and Forty5 Ventures.
- “Kevin has delivered over the past 10 months everything he said he was going to deliver,” said Joe Saviano, managing director of Dot Capital. “When someone does that, you reward them.”
The money will be used for hire a management team and bring in editorial talent. He is actively seeking to fill COO and CMO positions.
- Blue Wire specifically focuses on showcasing minority and female voices in sport.
- 35% of its podcasters are people of color. Sports media and sports audio are predominantly white and male.
- “I was inspired by Blue Wire’s ambitions to deviate from traditional sports media,” said Haley O’Shaughnessy, who joined Blue Wire from The Ringer and noted the company’s focus on sports. providing a platform for women in the media.
The money will also be used to build the company’s studio and to fund the creation of an annual slate of 8-10 original podcast series.
- The company is working with the United Talent Agency to offer some of its long-form original podcasts for use as options for film and television, including its hit original series American Prodigy, which Jones says has caught the attention of Hollywood studios and literary agents.
- “Podcasting is becoming the new book,” Jones says. “We’re going to look into that unlike anyone else in the sport right now.”
The bottom line: Sports audio as a whole is booming, but there’s still nowhere for most athletes, professional teams and sports media personalities to go to create and monetize their own high-end audio content. quality.