Weplay catches $4.5 million from sports figures

Talent agency Creative Artists Agency and Major League Baseball's Internet arm back a new sports site targeting kids, coaches, and parents.

Correction: This blog was updated at 11:15 a.m. with corrected information on the company's investors and partners.

Talent agency Creative Artists Agency and Major League Baseball's Internet arm have backed a new sports site for kids called Weplay, according to The New York Times. The company has raised $4.5 million from hedge fund Pequot Capital and sports figures Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning, among other investors.

Weplay, which is expected to launch in mid-April, is a social network for young athletes, as well as their parents and coaches. On the site, kids will be able to network with friends, post videos of their games, and play virtual games to win points for prizes.

Because CAA is a partner to the site, it also has ties to famous athletes such as New York Yankees star Derek Jeter and Tony Parker of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, so kids will be able to receive messages from sports idols, as well as see pictures and videos of them from their youth.

The site also aims to help coaches connect with players and parents; and parents can use Weplay to coordinate uniforms or pick up game schedules.

What's different about Weplay is that it involves the backing of major sports figures like Jeter, who is filming special video for the site. According to the Times, he has also invested some of his own money in the venture. But Weplay isn't the first company in this field. Others trying to take on youth sports include media site YourSports and Takkle.com, a network backed by Sports Illustrated.

The Times points out that the last time a group of famous sports figures joined forces, they failed. In 1999, Benchmark Capital invested $65 million in MVP.com, a project involving John Elway, Michael Jordan, and Wayne Gretzky.

 

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