This story has been updated to clarify the percentage of employees affected and to add comment from Overtime CEO Dan Porter.
Overtime, the digital sports network catering primarily to high school athletes, is the latest company to be forced to cut staff due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The company let go of 30 staff members last week – equaling about 23% of its previous 131 headcount, CEO Dan Porter confirmed to Front Office Sports.According to Porter, the layoffs at New York City-based Overtime were the result of “strategic moves in light of the macro environmental change,” citing that no live sports are being played and that it was not the right time for projects the company wanted to launch.
However, industry sources told Front Office Sports that the company was in “survival mode,” and that it had reversed course on planned hires due to concerns around future funding.
Porter denied that these recent layoffs had anything to do with the company’s funding.
“We have been careful about our growth and spending and still have cash in the bank from our last raise,” Porter said. “Overtime will be around for a long time, and we’ve taken proactive steps to ensure that.”
Overtime has raised $35.3 million since its launch in 2016, including a $23 million Series B round led by investment firm Spark Capital in February 2019.
Overtime was said to be in the market for an additional $40 million in funding to attract more Gen Z consumers to its platform, The Wall Street Journal reported in December.Overtime has recently expanded content beyond high school sports and into esports, with its new Overtime Gaming vertical centered around Fortnite and NBA 2K. The company also completed the acquisition of Fortnite esports team Evade in February.
Despite the fact that the sports world has been paused, Porter said March has been “its best month ever” and its watch time is up 58%. Overtime also launched a “whosnxt” campaign for sidelined athletes which has 10 million views on its social media channels.