Chris Paul, an 11-time NBA All-Star with a sizable off-court portfolio, has joined “media flow management” software firm Greenfly as a strategic investor.
Paul is described as a “power user” of Greenfly’s services, as a player as well as in his charity work and as former president of the NBA Players Association. He has also been active recently as a TV producer and activist. Greenfly’s platform enables sports teams and leagues to aggregate and archive photos and video and support players’ presence on social media through real-time updates.
The company provides sourcing, creation and automated distribution for clients like the NBA, Major League Baseball, ESPN and more than two dozen other sports leagues. While rooted in sports, the company has also branched out to media and entertainment, political campaigns, social causes and consumer brands.
Greenfly was founded by former Los Angeles Dodgers standout Shawn Green and former video game exec and regulatory official Daniel Kirschner, who is Green’s cousin. Kirschner has held senior posts at the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission and Activision Blizzard.
Paul’s unspecified investment is part of a strategic growth round, with $8.4 million in funding bringing the total to date past $23 million. New investors include Verance Capital, Higher Ground Labs, DD Venture Capital, SW19 Ventures, LinkinFirm and Allievo Capital. They join previous backers Go4it Capital, Alpha Edison and Iconica Partners. Another early supporter was Elysian Park Ventures, the investment firm started by the Dodgers ownership group, which includes former Hollywood studio chief Peter Guber and NBA great and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
“Greenfly is one the most recognizable names among athletes,” Paul said, “but its application and impact extends far beyond the court or field. Greenfly simplifies digital media creation and distribution through a single platform and app, which makes it incredibly easy for organizations to work with any ambassador — whether they’re an NBA player, superfan, influencer or volunteer — to share their authentic passion and affiliation to the brands and causes they love.”
Green, a Stanford grad and longtime tech enthusiast, calls the company’s platform “a private media collaboration network for just about any organization.”
The mission to launch the company was a personal one, Green added. “Our earliest iteration solved for the fragmented system I experienced between sports photographers and players who rely on real-time, organic content to build their personal brands,” he said. Greenfly has become a “media lifeline” for athletes like Paul, he added, “giving him a continuous feed of photos and videos of him on the court he can share on his social media channels without IP infringement. Posting better content more often, he has been able to grow his personal brand, as well as strengthen that of the brands and organizations that he works with.”
Because Greenfly deals primarily with leagues, rights-holders and teams, Kirschner told Deadline in an interview, the company has few issues with clearances. At the same time, the company aims to stay in touch with the environment of social media, where the points of influence and authority have shifted from past structures. “More than ever, people trust recommendations from their friends, along with their favorite athletes, and celebrities and are increasingly wary of glossy content manufactured by brands,” Kirschner said. Greenfly lets its clients “manage this dynamic,” he added.