NFL legends Tom Brady and Michael Strahan were once rivals on the gridiron.
Now they are business partners chasing a new sports dream.
Both greats have been working together on a sports media venture called Religion of Sports, which received $10 million last month in backing from Elysian Park, LinkinFirm and existing investors Courtside Ventures and media mogul Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital.
“The goal with this fundraise is to build more content and built out our clear brand and point of view,” the company’s CEO Ameeth Sankaran told FOX Business via email. “Our business model to date has primarily been selling/licensing content to networks.'
The sports media company clients include Facebook Watch, Showtime, NBC, ESPN, Apple Plus, AT&T and Amazon, among others and the company has partnered with brands like Under Armour.
“One hundred percent of the investment is based on: (a) Building out our content slate (video and audio), and (b) Focusing on building our brand -- with creators and our audience.” Sankaran said regarding the round of big money poured into the company.
Religion of Sports is looking to stand out and compete in the current sports digital media landscape with a distinct point of view and brand – sports as a hallmark of unity.
“Our stories answer the question ‘Why sports matter’ and delve into deeper human and emotional storytelling," Sankaran said. "Between our creative network and our co-founders, Tom Brady and Michael Strahan, we believe this storytelling, plus our access, puts us in a unique position for our content to cut through and make an impact. Sports change lives and we contribute to that through content.”
The company, which doesn’t plan to go public any time soon, will focus on all sports, not just football.
"We have been successful at this to date with projects like ‘Tom vs Time’ on Facebook Watch with Tom Brady, ‘Stephen vs the Game’ also on Facebook Watch with Stephen Curry and ‘Greatness Code’ on Apple Plus with Lebron, Brady, Alex Morgan, Usain Bolt and others," Sankaran said. "We will continue and scale this strategy and approach.”Religion of Sports is not too worried about the competition because it doesn’t see itself as a production company.
“Production company competition are companies that made content like the ‘Last Dance’ (Mandalay Sports), Sankaran said. "But our goal is to build more of a brand based on the content - as ‘The Ringer’ for example has done starting with podcasting.”
Earlier this week, the company’s football leaders, Strahan and Brady, took to social media to publically josh each other.
Strahan posted a birthday message to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback with a photo of himself putting Brady on his back during Super Bowl XLII.
“Happy birthday, @TomBrady!" The former New York Giants star wrote. "Enjoy the day my brotha. Yes, I had to use this photo AGAIN.”
Brady had quite the comeback for the Super Bowl winner.
“Thanks, Mike. Guess we’ll just have to run it back...on a football field...where I still go to work every day…”