Premier League footballers club together to fund Grabyo
James R | On 28, Nov 2014
A group of Premier League footballers have clubbed together to help fund Grabyo.
The start-up is a video service for the distribution of live TV clips, particularly on social media; much like the way Vine in used to share football highlights. Indeed, the service has found itself particularly suited to sporting events, with previous deals with broadcasters including the sharing of highlights from both ITV’s World Cup and the Wimbledon tennis championships.
Now, Cesc Fàbregas, Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie have all joined to back the London-based company in a £1.3m funding round. The stars, including NBA’s Tony Parker, will become brand ambassadors for Grabyo.
Cesc told the Guardian: “Videos and photos are my most popular posts on Twitter and Facebook. I am looking forward to working with Grabyo to bring video highlights to my fans in real time.”
Van Persie added: “I’m pleased to be backing Grabyo to bring instant sports highlights to fans on social media. I’ve witnessed first-hand the immediate response from fans when videos are shared on Facebook and Twitter.”
Henry highlighted the use of the technology for those trying to keep up with sporting action outside of the UK.
“Being away from London makes it harder to keep up with what’s happening in European football,” he added. “Grabyo makes it easy for fans to follow the action by making the best moments available in an instant. I am looking forward to helping the company grow.”
The footballers’ funding arrives as the Premier League is trying to crack down on Vines being shared on Twitter, which breaks their licensing agreement with The Sun, who are meant to have exclusive rights to online Premier League highlights. As we have reported before, The Sun has been far from effective in its social media strategy, using an old media response to combat a new media problem.
Whether footballing Vines ever are clamped down upon or not, Grabyo is evidently aware of the value of having the official backing of several stars of the game.
Chief executive Gareth Capon, a former Sky executive, comments: “As more people are able to enjoy video across social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, the involvement of star talent will open up new distribution opportunities for broadcasters, rights holders and brands.”