Back in February of 2018, Overtime disrupted the digital sports landscape and put everybody on notice when they raised over $9.5 million in their first round of Series A funding.
Backed by high profile investors such as NBA star Kevin Durant, VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, and former NBA commissioner David Stern, I knew Overtime was on the come-up and it would only be a matter of months before they’d start competing against the likes of ESPN, Bleacher Report, House of Highlights, etc.
Fast forward a couple of months and Overtime has indubitably established themselves as the “go-to” platform for the next generation of athletes and fans.
Whether it’s highlights of some of the most prolific hoopers hitting the cleanest #JellyFam layups or comedic fan submissions worthy of viral coverage, Overtime has amassed a following of over 805,000 loyal supporters on their Instagram, 350,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel, and over millions of views and engagements from their eclectic collection of content.
But considering the digital era we live in today, Overtime’s meteoric rise is fascinating. Because social media has warranted an oversaturation of content, people are actually more inclined to tune out. So with that in mind, how is Overtime successfully navigating the sodden terrain of creative content?
In order to further understand their secret to success, I caught up with Overtime’s very own Laurence Marsach, more popularly recognized as @OvertimeLarry, at their headquarters in Brooklyn last week. As we started talking, I sensed the energy Larry emanated, and it was obvious that Overtime’s success wasn’t a result of sheer luck.
When I asked Larry how Overtime was different, he replied,
We’re new and we’re fresh… you saw our office. You saw mostly young people. We don’t hire older heads. The way you reach younger people is by having younger people create. I think I’m one of the older heads at Overtime and I’m only 26.
Steve Stoute touched upon this exact sentiment at the Hashtag Sports Conference back in July: “Have the people that work in your company, look like the people you’re trying to sell your products to.”
And as the main host for the Overtime Challenge, Larry does just that. He admitted that, in the beginning, he was hesitant to be working with such high-profile athletes. But once he shifted his mentality to that of a brotherly figure, things started to click:
I realized that I’m like six or seven years older than these kids, they’re like my little brothers. And since then, they kind of look at me as the big brother. I just give them advice, I talk to them like I’m their friend. I relate with them through the music, the fashion, and anything dealing with pop culture. They’re kids, they wanna have fun.
For those unfamiliar with the Overtime Challenge, it’s one of the most popular basketball series on YouTube today, featuring some of the biggest high school athletes from LaMelo Ball to Shareef O’Neal.
And while plenty of basketball can be watched, what the Overtime Challenge truly offers these high school celebrities is an opportunity to showcase their identities outside of the sport they’re most known for.
I feel like people are getting a chance to see these high-profile athletes and how they act behind the camera. Because people can see the nasty dunks and the highlights, but they don’t get a chance to see who he is. That’s what Overtime’s bringing to the game.
Authenticity is the name of the game, but there has to be more. Overtime Larry’s on-camera persona is electrifying, a raw energy that obviously appeals to the younger generation. But what exactly is it about Overtime and Larry that the youth are relating to?
We all know Gen-Z is notorious for being particular with the companies it chooses to interact with. When I asked Overtime Larry his thoughts, he shared the recipe to their success:
I think they started messing with Overtime because we were consistent… a lot of these brands don’t cover high school at all, but they’ll try to cover the biggest game of the year and take over video rights. We’re always gonna be here, and provide value from the jump. We’re authentic and we really got a dream team filled with creatives and intelligent people.
Consistently authentic and authentically consistent; that’s how Overtime and Larry are changing the game. They’re not looking to just provide highlights of the craziest plays, anybody can do that.
These guys are breathing creative life into content with a fiery personality, sharing relatable stories that have lessons to be learned for the betterment of the next generation.