What started as a New York Yankees podcast and YouTube account four years ago will soon become a burgeoning media platform spanning all major North American sports.
Jomboy Media, founded by Jimmy O’Brien, announced a $5 million raise Thursday. The WWE, C.C. Sabathia and Dwyane Wade are among new investors in the company, joining a round led by Connect Ventures, an investment partnership between CAA and New Enterprise Associates.
“I think that will lead to bigger things,” O’Brien said of the CAA connection. “There are guys that are part of CAA that… if we have an event or we want to do something or help them, they help us. Hopefully it’s one big family.”
O’Brien and business partner Jake Storiale were early among baseball creators during a time when MLB was becoming more comfortable with social media content.
“The reason we were able to be as successful so early on is because MLB had really tightened the reins on third-party coverage on social media for a long time, and they loosened those or maybe kind of just dropped them all together,” O’Brien said. “And we were, I think, the first people to really bet on that happening and bet that they were going to allow people to create and help them grow and share baseball.”
Jomboy Media now boasts over 1.5 million YouTube subscribers, multiple popular podcasts, and over 500 million Twitter impressions in April.
While Jomboy relied on Patreon for its early funding, O’Brien said the company is likely to wind that program down as it grows its sponsorship revenue and eyes other lines of business, including developing content for other platforms and hosting live events. Jomboy also plans to hire a CEO.
As it grows, O’Brien said he’s looking to add both well known personalities and up-and-comers to the talent roster with the hopes of maintaining the close-knit feel that was key to his early success. “That’s something I’m always cautious of,” O’Brien said. “I want (growth) to be organic and slow.”
Given a chance to add any other remarks about his company’s funding news or expansion plans, O’Brien opted to say, “Yankees are really good this year.”
Don’t call Jomboy Media the Evil Empire—yet.