Former NBA player Baron Davis has reportedly become the latest athlete to make an investment in Blue Wire, the sports podcast startup. Variety reports Davis will become a “brand ambassador” for the company to bring other athletes into the fold. Davis will also create his own podcast production arm called Slic. He reportedly had been in talks with other larger podcast companies but opted to go with Blue Wire to retain intellectual property rights and creative control.
The former NBA All-Star had already made a media transition after leaving the court. He is a studio analyst for NBA coverage for the TNT network. “We should be thinking about the future of the media,” Davis told Variety. “This is a new age. We’re building something from scratch for this generation.”
Davis joins a list of Blue Wire investors that already includes pro football player Deion Jones’ venture fund Forty5 Ventures. He was part of a group that made a $1.2 million investment in the company in February. Other contributors included Dot Capital, 500 Startups and several individual investors, including and Prakash Janakiraman, co-founder of NextDoor.
Blue Wire, launched by Kevin Jones, a veteran of sports talk radio including KNBR San Francisco (680), currently has about 90 podcasts under its banner. The company says it has more than a million active listeners per month. As it looks to grow, Blue Wire faces an increasingly crowded sports podcasting space that’s currently led by brands like Barstool Sports, ESPN and The Athletic. Amazon is also reportedly looking at expanding into local sports podcasting tied to its streaming TV play-by-play rights.