The acquisition brings Whistle’s on-demand marketplace application and community together with Rent-A-Ref’s platform to connect qualified officials with organized sports events.
WHISTLE, the leading California based on-demand sports officiating marketplace application, is delighted to announce that it has acquired Rent-A-Ref, LLC., a proven national sports officiating platform that connects adult, youth leagues and tournaments with qualified officials to service their organized sports events.
Rent-A-Ref brings a scalable approach to Whistle’s ambitious plans to become the global leading marketplace to inspire and accelerate the advancement of all sports officials. With this acquisition, Whistle further expands its team and lays the foundation to combine its sector expertise that’ll help steer and scale its marketplace service.
“Rent-A-Ref has delivered powerful results for thousands of officials across the country and add a walk-in ready team with over fifteen years of on-the-field experience that’ll help our ability to handle an acceleration of growth,” said Oliver Barton, Founder and CEO at Whistle. “Together we share a vision to make sports officiating universally accessible and as a result, reverse the impacts of an alarming shortage of officials that’s dominating headlines by removing the most difficult barriers and provide the best available support to national governing bodies, regional associations, leagues, tournaments and teams, which will provide greater convenience and better outcomes for everybody involved.”
Founded in 2015 by Michael Radchuk, a USL referee, Rent-A-Ref developed its business based on years of experience on and off the field.
Michael, who’ll be attending an invitation-only UEFA Core Referee Training camp next month will join Whistle as part of its senior leadership team based in Irvine, California, serving as League and Referee Development Officer and working alongside Fox Sports rules analyst and ex Sr VP of NFL Officiating, Dean Blandino.
Michael commented, “Local Organizers [Coaches and Leagues] who put on tournaments, scrimmages and pick-up games asked me on consistent bases to come and help officiate their events. I asked myself, “Why can’t others do the same? How can I help officials of all levels get exposed to these events and help out the community?” Technology has provided a bridge to do just that, but not many have taken the advantage of bringing it [the gap] closer together. After speaking with Oliver and the leadership team at Whistle, it was obvious that our ideas and goals were aligned and will do just that!"
“That potential becomes even more compelling when combined with Whistle, whose powerful brand and service has the ability to connect and engage a diverse global audience. Together, we’re building a complete experience to become the destination for all and any sports officiating needs that millions of people rely on,” Michael continued.
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