Packers, Vikings’ Wilf Family Invest in Sports Social Media Firm Slate

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Sports-focused social media branding firm Slate Digital Inc. has received seed funding from a group of investors that includes the Green Bay Packers and the Wilf family, owners of the Minnesota Vikings.

Slate Digital, founded in 2018, will announce the $3.5 million investment later today. The Wilfs’ Wise Ventures and TitleTownVentures, a fund co-founded by the Packers, lead the round. They are joined by Launch, which runs VC and angel investing funds, and Charge Ventures, which has stakes in dozens of start-ups, including Just Play, a pick-up game community.

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The New York-based Slate Digital was co-founded by Eric Stark, who was the NFL’s director of international content and strategy until February 2020, and Michael Horton, a tech product manager who also had a marketing stint with the San Francisco 49ers. The company specializes in social media strategy and crafting unique brand approaches, counting a number of pro and college teams as clients, including the Baltimore Ravens, Golden State Warriors, the PGA Tour and the SEC.

“Slate has been a game-changer in terms of workflow and the speed with which we can customize our social media posts across platforms,” said Hiren Joshi, Houston Rockets social media director, in a press release.

According to Gartner Group data cited by Slate Digital, nearly half of social media users can’t tell the difference between most brand experiences. Creating consistent branding across social media can increase revenue by one-third, Slate contends. The company works with organizations to create consistent branding and provides tools for social media employees to independently upload and distribute content using the branding. With the Los Angeles Lakers, for instance, Slate and the team focused on Instagram offerings around the 2020 finals, having each player handwrite Kobe Bryant’s “leave a legacy” maxim and using it as a template for game and player highlights.

The seed funding round began with Wise Ventures and TitleTownTech making an undisclosed investment last year. The Wilfs, who this year purchased Orlando City FC of Major League Soccer and the Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League, have additionally backed about 20 other start-ups, primarily sports-focused businesses, through Wise. Among them are video content firm WSC Sports and Buzzer, which offers a paid sports highlights app.

TitleTownTech Ventures is a partnership between the NFL’s Packers and Microsoft. The Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Bruins owner Jerry Jacobs Jr. and former Mets owner Jeff Wilpon are also investors in the fund. According to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission dated March this year, the fund has $25.4 million in assets.

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