Lebron James Backs Streaming Sports Venture Mars Reel
High school and collegiate sports are extremely popular but there has yet to be a destination site for it all, magnified through the eyes of a millennial, until now. Mars Reel, a company founded by twin brothers, Brandon and Bradley Deyo, streams video highlights of athletes on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook.
So far the twins have raised $2.7 million with Lebron James as one of their backers. Other investors include Maverick Carter, Nas, Steve Stoute, and tech investor Robert Hisaoka. Additionally, Shane Battier, James’ former Miami Heat teammate, and Jason Robins, chief executive officer of DraftKings, the fantasy-sports website, are past investors in Mars Reel.
In addition to an investment, the company will go into a content-sharing agreement with Uninterrupted, a digital media company founded by James and Carter, according to NBC News.
Not being able to afford basketball camp led the twins to the now lucrative creation. Instead of paying the staggering fees, they decided to film themselves and create their own highlight reels where scouts could come and look at them. Instead of only focusing on themselves, they also showcased their friends. That’s when the business was born.
In the first four years, the company accumulated over 25 million unique views, and then it exploded. Last year, it came in at over 148 million unique views and is still gaining traction according to NBC News. The twins have hired a total of seven employees and recently hired a director of sales to begin to tackle incoming sponsorship requests.
In order to avoid copyrights, Mars Reel covers sports as news. “When we go to games, we are credentialed by the schools,” Brandon Deyo said in a statement. “We have press credentials to get into the gym. Mars Reel is the primary source for everything we publish. Even the music in the videos is made in-house,” he continued. “It’s custom-made for the audience.”
In addition to basketball, the company is now focused on highlighting football, soccer, and mixed martial arts.