Sports media startup Overtime has raised $80 million in new funding, adding Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (through Bezos Expeditions) and rapper Drake to its list of investors, the company announced Thursday. Sapphire Sport and Black Capital led the round, which also included 25 active and former NBA players.
This fall, Overtime will launch an Overtime Elite program that pays 16-to-18-year-old basketball players $100,000 salaries to play in its league. The company is now valued at over $250 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“The breadth and diversity of this investment group, including leaders from business, entertainment, technology and sports, speaks to Overtime’s remarkable growth and our future trajectory,” Overtime CEO and co-founder Dan Porter said. “We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Founded in 2016, Overtime has now raised over $140 million while building an audience of 50 million across social media platforms. With 120 current employees, the company said it plans to hire 80 additional workers, primarily to staff Overtime Elite and produce more content.
In a release, Overtime highlighted its interest in exploring NFTs and sports betting as well. It also has ambitions to connect more directly with its followers via an app offering scores and prediction contests. The startup’s revenue to this point has mainly come from advertising and merchandise.
“We’re the leading brand for the next generation of sports fans, reaching them through our social channels, our long-form series, our e-commerce business, and now a sports league,” Overtime co-founder and president Zack Weiner said. “Sports consumption is changing at a rapid pace, and Overtime will continue to be at the forefront.”
Athlete investors in the Series C round include Lonzo Ball, Devin Booker, Pau Gasol, Klay Thompson and Trae Young. LightShed Ventures, Chiney Ogwumike and Bakari Sellers were among the other notable investors.
Bezos’ other investments include The Washington Post, AirBnB, Twitter and Uber.