The NFL is calling a brand-new tech audible: The league struck a partnership with buzzy interactive-audio chat app Clubhouse.
Clubhouse and the National Football League announced that they are teaming up to produce an exclusive lineup of programming for the 2021 NFL Draft on the app this week. Clubhouse — which debuted just 12 months ago — lets users host invitation-only live audio discussions, and it’s quickly become a popular destination among celebs, music artists, tech and business execs, and others.
The NFL deal marks the first official pact between Clubhouse and a major sports league, and Clubhouse is expected to roll out a significant wave of new programming with other partners in the coming months.
Beginning Monday, April 26, the NFL will host a series of “rooms” (audio chatrooms on Clubhouse) throughout the week around the league’s draft. That will include a pre-draft assessment of prospective players; a conversation with alums of the University of Alabama’s football team; a fan-driven mock draft; and draft analysis.
The NFL has launched an official Clubhouse account at joinclubhouse.com/club/nfl. Fans will be able to drop in on the NFL’s rooms to follow the picks live as they’re announced and listen in on discussions featuring key NFL figures, including athletes, coaches and TV network personalities. In addition, uses will have the opportunity to join the conversation — moderators may invite them up to the “stage” to ask questions or share their reactions to the draft.
The actual 2021 NFL Draft kicks off this Thursday, April 29 and ends Saturday, May 1.
“The NFL’s commitment to innovation is matched only by their devotion to their fans, and we are proud to welcome the NFL to Clubhouse,” Sean Brown, Clubhouse’s head of sports partnerships, said in a statement. “The draft is one of the biggest events of the year for football fans, and we know that millions of creators will be discussing, debating and celebrating throughout the week.”
According to Clubhouse, sports fans have been among the app’s most avid early adopters having created numerous Clubs (interest-based groups that members can create and join) and rooms to discuss their favorite leagues, teams and players.
Earlier month, the heavily hyped startup — whose legal name is Alpha Exploration Co. — announced that it had closed a Series C round of funding led by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Clubhouse didn’t announce the size of the round but the funding gave it a reported valuation of about $4 billion.