Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and music industry star Drake are investing in overtime as part of a new $ 80 million funding round for the sports startup aimed at fans more interested in Watch game highlights on social media as three hours of ESPN.
A significant portion of the funds will go towards the salaries of athletes and the more than 80 new hires at Overtime’s, called overtime elite. The league is offering 30 players between the ages of 16 and 18 with a salary of $ 100,000 as of September.
The Brooklyn-based company will also use part of the money to fuel its trading cards, sports betting, and cryptocurrency tokens called NFTs, orsaid the company.
Bezos and Drake are joining more than 25 current and former NBA players who have invested in overtime, including Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant of Brooklyn Nets and Carmelo Anthony of the Portland Trailblazers.
In addition to being paid, overtime elite players receive shares in the company, a percentage of all revenue from using their name, and the right to enter into shoe deals. The teenage gamers would also get full health insurance and $ 100,000 in tuition if they choose to continue their education.
Overtime co-founder Zack Weiner said the company offers these benefits because he believes talented players deserve compensation regardless of age. Currently, undergraduate athletes playing for high school or college do not receive any compensation.
Overtime didn’t say who the league’s players were or if and when they would be selected. The company hasn’t announced where games will be played either. Company employees said they had limited their choices to two cities and would announce the venue in the coming weeks.
Overtime started in 2016 with the goal of creating a preparatory sports media giant with ESPN-like credibility. The majority of Overtime’s video content lives on social media, with more than 45 million followers. Overtime’s video content reaches 1.7 billion views a month on YouTube, Snapchat, IGTV, Instagram, and TikTok, according to the company.
In total, Overtime has raised more than $ 140 million in venture capital. A portion of that includes $ 9.5 million from Andreessen Horowitz and $ 23 million from Spark Capital.
Micromanagement Ventures, Pelion Capital, Morgan Stanley Counterpoint Global and Blackstone Strategic Partners also contributed to the third round of funding. Micromanagement Ventures is owned by the family of the late NBA commissioner David Stern.