Hero Sports raises $1.3M to help fuel growth of college sports news site – GeekWire
The sports media landscape seems to be changing everyday, but some investors like the potential they see in HERO Sports.
The Seattle-area startup just reeled in a $1.3 million investment round led by PN Cellular Inc. and Alliance of Angels.
HERO Sports originally launched in 2014 as BennettRank, which ranked college sports teams across the U.S. The company later rebranded as HERO Sports and expanded beyond just numbers; today it provides more holistic online coverage of more than 20,000 NCAA teams.
The site has a similar feel to sports media giant Bleacher Report — Bleacher Report CEO Dave Finocchio just spoke at the GeekWire Sports Tech Summit — but with a focus on college sports ranging from top Division-1 teams to lower-level programs. Hero Sports also produces some NBA and NFL-related content.
Here’s a description from the company’s LinkedIn page:
Our mission is to advance interest and appreciation for small-school athletics through aggregating and publicizing stories about teams, players, fans, and coaches. We view ourselves as empowering partners of athletic departments. We work with sports information teams, and media teams, to develop stories and bring attention to program, team, and individual achievements. We strive to create an online platform capable of capturing and promoting every newsworthy story in collegiate athletics across the country.
HERO Sports co-founder and former college baseball player Jordan Nilsen told GeekWire that the funding will be used to scale content production and “further evangelize the accomplishments and contributions of under-served athletes, coaches, fans, students, and educational institutions.”
The company will also invest more money in its proprietary ranking and prediction algorithms, while growing its partnership program that lets brands reach college sports fans.
Total funding to date for HERO Sports is $3.7 million. The company employs 10 people.