Five years ago, Overtime set out to build a different kind of sports community and brand to serve the next generation of fans. The secret to our success was an early insight that the next generation of all-star athletes was fundamentally different. Social media had completely changed the game. But sports media hadn't caught up.
We built Overtime's fan base by covering those athletes differently from legacy sports media and right away, the approach resonated with both fans and the athletes themselves. Today, our programming is viewed more than 18 billion times a year and we built a community of more than 50 million followers across all our platforms.
We have developed extremely close relationships with players and their families, which has given us an intimate understanding of their journey, as well as their struggles. We've also heard about cracks in today's system, and the stress it's putting on their bodies, their families and their finances.
2019 was an enlightening year for Overtime, where our eyes were opened to the flaws in the system.
In May, we held a weekend-long event, the Overtime Takeover, where we hosted many of the country's top basketball players (and their families). Over the course of the weekend, we had a series of conversations with them where it became clear that the system was broken.
At the same time, we noticed that more and more top players were bucking the traditional path. They were changing schools, playing internationally, skipping college and training at home. The traditional path either doesn't work or isn't appealing for these players, so they're charting a new course.
That summer we began in-depth discussions with top prospects and their parents. We wanted to better understand what was happening and why.
We came away with three big conclusions about what's missing for players in today's basketball ecosystem.
The more we learned, the more we asked: how can we help fix this?