Gannett’s USA Today Sports Media Group has expanded its content-distribution partnership with Mars Reel, a tech company started in 2010 by high school basketball-playing siblings who saw a need to cover high-school sports, and used short-form content to reach millennials.
Mars Reel was founded in 2010 by Brandon and Bradley Deyo when they were in high school in Maryland. The company says its videos are viewed by 25 million unique monthly viewers on platforms including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat.
USA Today High School Sports, which reaches an aggregate audience of 60 million people a year, began distributing Mars Reel’s short-form content in late 2017. This includes 60 original videos per week. The new partnership will expand the volume of Mars Reel videos on USA Today and will also extend to other content formats, featured across USA Today Sports platforms.
The two companies will also co-produce new series set to launch in 2018 including “Top 5 Dunks of the Week” and “The Unknowns,” which will focus on rising stars.
From Variety. Story by Todd Spangler.
“Our high-school sports sector has grown exponentially over the past year and with partners like Mars Reel, we will leverage differentiated highlights and create unique branded video content for our voracious high school basketball fans,” said Chris Pirrone, general manager of USA Today Sports Media Group. He praised Brandon and Bradley’s “passion for high-school sports combined with their creative vision for reaching young millennials.”
Bradley, co-founder and COO of Mars Reel Media, said the partnership with USA Today Sports has helped it significantly expand its reach to attract a whole new base of high-school basketball fans. “As we continue to expand our distribution network, we are particularly excited to be working with the team at USA Today Sports to produce unique, story-driven content,” he said.
L.A.-based Mars Reel also boasts a roster of well-known investors and advisers across the sports, media, entertainment, and technology sectors. The company’s chairman is Jerry Hall, previously founder and CEO of Rev Software. Mars Reel has raised $2.7 million in funding to date from investors including LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Kevin Durant, hip-hop artist Nas, Shane Battier, Devin Johnson, Cedric Stewart and 500 Startups. Others include DraftKings CEO Jason Robins; Bruce Tuchman, former global network chief for AMC, Sundance and MGM; and lead investor Robert Hisaoka.
Mars Reel also has a partnership with LeBron James’ Uninterrupted digital-media company to team on content development and distribution.
Read more at Variety.
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