This story originally appeared on Shark.com here.
Technology Enables Broadcasters, Sports Leagues and Teams to Customize Live Sport Commentary at Scale
West Palm Beach, Fla. (September 25, 2018) – Greg Norman Company today announced a material investment in Spalk as the leader in a $1.5MM series seed round alongside Stadia Ventures, Ice Angels, Sparkbox Ventures and others.
A virtual sportscasting studio, Spalk’s proprietary Live Sync technology synchronizes live sports streams with multiple alternate remote commentaries from anywhere in the world. Fans are able to choose a commentator for each game that suits their preferred language, style or bias – driving fan engagement while increasing audience size and lowering production costs for content owners.
Spalk was a finalist in “Greg Norman’s Search for the Next Sports Entrepreneur” held at the University of Miami in March 2017 wherein Greg Norman and his team of investors held a worldwide search to discover the next successful inventors, creators and innovators in sport. After receiving hundreds of applications from around the world – including eight countries and five continents – Spalk, a New York City-based company with New Zealand origins, emerged as the winner.
“As the world becomes increasingly more global, a one-size fits all approach to sports broadcasting is no longer relevant,” said Greg Norman. “Demographically targeted commentary is a win-win for both fans and broadcasters and Spalk is leading the way. I am a firm believer in entrepreneurship and to have the opportunity to discover the ‘next best thing in sport’ and give a head start to the young entrepreneurs at Spalk is really special to me.”
Since launch in 2017, Spalk has covered more than 5,000 live events for 100+ content partners who have seen up to a 70% increase in audience size. The technology is already being used extensively by FIBA, the governing body for basketball, as well as World Rugby and several Division I college conferences in the U.S. The new partnership will aid in Spalk’s North American growth and support introducing the technology in golf and other sports verticals.
“Mass personalization of live sports content opens up enormous revenue opportunities for leagues and broadcasters and we are excited to support Spalk as they disrupt this legacy industry,” said Brandon Janosky, Managing Partner at Stadia Ventures.
“By leveraging Spalk’s patented Virtual Commentary Studio, sports leagues and broadcasters no longer have to fly commentators to the stadium or studio to call games – they can do it from a laptop anywhere in the world,” said Ben Reynolds, CEO of Spalk. “We place high value on the right strategic partners and are thrilled to announce the support from Greg Norman and our other investors.”
For more information: www.spalk.co
ABOUT GREG NORMAN COMPANY
Arguably the most successful athlete-turned-businessman in the world, Greg Norman is known as much for his entrepreneurial spirit in the boardroom as his dominance on the golf course. The internationally renowned “Great White Shark” won more than 90 tournaments worldwide, including two Open Championships, and he holds the distinction of defending his No. 1 position in the world golf rankings for 331 weeks, the second-longest reign in history.
Greg Norman now transcends the game of golf, with over a dozen companies around the world bearing his name and the iconic shark logo as part of the Greg Norman Company, which he leads as Chairman & CEO. His internationally recognized brand boasts more than 100 golf course designs across six continents, a global real estate collection, award-winning wine, golf-inspired lifestyle apparel and a diverse investment division. For more information: www.shark.com