With a new funding round led by VC all-star firm Andreessen Horowitz and including investors like NBA star Kevin Durant and his manager Rich Kleiman, Overtime aims to hype local high school superstars — and turn that hype into a business opportunity.
A genius idea, yes. But maybe a little problematic?
Instead of focusing on sports news, Overtime gives viewers the ability to follow a narrative surrounding a “couple dozen” athletes the company has chosen to represent, as these kids develop and transition from the high school level to college, and hopefully one day, the pros.
Overtime follows its athletes by enlisting the help of their classmates and other people in their communities, paying these hyperlocal “stringers” a few bucks per game to record them via Overtime’s video platform.
The company then blasts it around the web in hopes of creating sweet, viral content — but don’t worry, to maintain the college-eligible athlete’s “amateur status,” the company doesn’t pay the athletes a dime.
We’ve heard the tired but necessary debate over whether college athletes should be compensated for their financial contributions to the institutions they spill their blood, sweat, and tears for, and this isn’t much different.
Bottom line is, it seems unlikely these young, insanely athletic talents would need the help of Overtime to get to the next level. But Overtime definitely needs them.
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