Religion of Sports has raised $50 million in Series B funding as the media company expands its storytelling ambitions.
Founded by Tom Brady, Gotham Chopra, and Michael Strahan in 2017, the studio is best known for a string of multipart athlete documentaries starring the likes of Steph Curry and Simone Biles. Last month, RoS’ Man in the Arena: Tom Brady won a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Documentary Series. It is now working on non-sports stories as well as scripted content, with 17 projects currently in the works, according to CEO Ameeth Sankaran.
“Religion of Sports has grown at a pace we could have only dreamt about five years ago,” Brady said in a statement. “I look forward to what the future holds for us at Religion of Sports as we continue to expand our slate and pursue more collaborative projects with new partners.”
Entertainment-focused firm Shamrock Capital led the round, joined by Elysian Park Ventures and Cerro Capital. A valuation was not disclosed. “The concept of great storytelling is often central to our investments,” Shamrock Partner Mike LaSalle said in a statement. “We believe Religion of Sports is a master at crafting narratives about some of the most relevant and universal subject matters today—resilience, competition, mental health and the pursuit of greatness.”
Unscripted sports content has only become more in-demand following the success of The Last Dance, as more and more streaming services seek to attract sports fans. “I think the bar also goes up in terms of what’s required,” Sankaran said. “You’ll see less of the smaller budget, one-off bets and you’ll see more activity and bidding for the best of the best.”
RoS, which produces podcasts and shorter-form content as well, is also talking to leagues, many of which are wondering if a creative documentary series could give them a Drive To Survive-like boost. Beyond that, the company is currently exploring wellness-focused content after finding that it’s becoming a common theme in its biographical work, among other potential endeavors.
“The central thing that we want to do with this fundraise is bring aboard companies, bring aboard one-off filmmakers, bring in talented individuals with access who can help us as we expand,” Sankaran said.
(This story has an updated quote from Tom Brady in the third paragraph.)