Greg Norman Company has announced a material investment in Spalk as the leader in a US$1.5 million series seed round alongside Stadia Ventures, Ice Angels, Sparkbox Ventures and others.
A virtual sportscasting studio, Spalk’s proprietary Live Sync technology synchronises 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 Norman, whose Greg Norman Golf Course Design Company is a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“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,” Norman added.
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 US. The new partnership will aid in Spalk’s North American growth and support introducing the technology in golf and other sports verticals.
“Mass personalisation 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.”