Jeter, Manning join $8.6 million Weplay round

Youth sports social network already boasts a lineup of pro-athlete investors; it's also backed by Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the Creative Artists Agency.

Big-name professional athletes are known for throwing money around almost as much as they throw balls, but it's not every day you hear about them investing in a social-networking site. Youth sports network Weplay, however, is an exception: Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, and LeBron James have joined its $8.6 million Series B funding round, announced Tuesday.

The round was led by Deep Fork Capital, which has invested recently in mobile networking start-up Moblyng and visual search site SearchMe. In addition to the well-moneyed jocks, existing investor FirstMark Capital contributed.

Weplay's Series A round, announced earlier this year, was led by FirstMark and had participation from other current and former pro athletes like basketball player Tony Parker, soccer player Brandi Chastain, and swimmer Summer Sanders as well as Silicon Valley regular Ron Conway. The Creative Artists Agency and Major League Baseball Advanced Media have also invested.

The site itself is intended as a hub for youth athletes, their parents and coaches, and other enthusiasts where they can safely network, share photos, and keep track of their favorite teams as well as share their own on-the-field antics.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.


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