NIL athletes can now be short-form stars. The Whistle Creator Program wants to help them.

By 02/28/2023
NIL athletes can now be short-form stars. The Whistle Creator Program wants to help them.

For sports creators, the current online video landscape is a brave new world. College stars are signing name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals, influencers are competing at a high level, and the lines between creator and athlete are blurrier than ever before.

Enter Team Whistle. Nine years after launching as Whistle Sports, the media company has become a veteran producer of sports content. With its new Whistle Creator Program, it will partner with pros and college athletes to help them improve their short-form content.

The Whistle Creator Program will be organized into classes, each of which will include a group of athletes-slash-videomakers. The inaugural class of program participants includes some sports professionals, including FOX Sports host Darnell Smith and self-described “sports personality” Joy De’Angela. Team Whistle’s roster of creator partners also includes college athletes who are benefitting from NIL deals, including football players Cameron Ward and Adam Botkin.


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The Creator Program participants will focus on sharpening their short-form content as they connect with other up-and-comers. According to a release from Team Whistle, the selected influencers will “create rich, authentic sports adjacent” on TikTok, Reels, YouTube Shorts and other platforms as the year progresses.

“I am interested in continuing to build my brand and connect with sports fans on a more intimate level,” Ward said in a statement. “When Whistle approached me about joining the ‘Whistle Creator Program,’ I knew it would be a great platform to aid the growing awareness of me as a content creator.”

With its new initiative, Team Whistle hopes to satiate the “massive appetite” for short-form content, according to the company’s EVP of Content Noah Weissman. The media firm already feeds sports fans on digital platforms by offering up premium programs like Dunk Battle.

London-based company Eleven Sports acquired Team Whistle in 2021. Team Whistle’s current owner — sports entertainment platform DAZN — acquired Eleven Sports earlier this year.

If you’re interested in joining the Whistle Creator Program, you can apply to be a part of it by visiting this link.

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