• Loading stock data...
Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Challenges of Running a Startup Through the Eyes of the CEO

By: Ishveen Anand, @IshveenAnand

Everyone knows that startup life is challenging. As CEO + Founder of OpenSponsorship, a marketplace that connects brands to professional athletes, teams and events, I am no stranger to challenges. Thus, I figured it would be nice to give the readers of Front Office Sports an insight into some of the real challenges of running a sports tech startup, and how we think about solving them.

If at any point you have ideas, comments or feedback, feel free to drop me a note at my email address below.

So this past month a lot of focus internally has been on the matchmaking process we implement between brand and sponsorship opportunity. What makes one NFL athlete better than the other for a nutrient or headphone brand? What data do we need to collect to support the match? Should the pricing be coming from us, or the athlete? Do we suggest to the brand how much they should spend, or just ask them a budget?

The biggest thing with challenges like this is that there is no right answer. Let’s think about dating sites — some people prefer Tinder i.e. a free-for-all; others like a highly curated but still expansive selection like Happn based on location, and then others want very few options such as a Coffee meets Bagel. All three have their place, and it’s no different in any other matchmaking service whether you think insurance, hotels or recruitment.

At OpenSponsorship we started off by offering a non-curated marketplace where brands and athlete, teams, events could communicate freely. This created a good amount of deals, but also led to some brands informing us that finding the right match was taking too much time. However, if we switch off the open communication and give brands too few options, there is very little difference between us and a traditional agency. So it seems the trick is to have something in the middle — a good number of options with matches suggested by the platform, backed up by data and reason. This solution would allow the brand to think less, trust the technology and become more efficient in its sponsorship process.

By honing on in what we wanted to achieve for the brand and athlete to enter a deal easily and successfully, we needed to decide what data points would be of relevance to us, as well as considering time and cost to implement. Social media geography, interests, pricing all play a part, and so an algorithm combining these criteria and more will lead to success. Having outlined the business goal, the challenge is passed over to our CTO to pull in the various data points, and integrate to the platform. After which point, our front-end developer decides how this will be framed for the user to see. It’s a a team project, and only once everyone buys in that we have the right solution and it’s the right priority thing to address, do we move forward.

We are in the midst of doing this now, so wish us luck, and I will be sure to give a update in the next “Challenge” article.

Ishveen is the CEO and Founder of OpenSponsorship. She can be reached via email at ishveen@opensponsorship.com.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read


Rewriting the Sports Media Playbook

WSC’s highlight automation improved Clemson’s content strategy and overall growth.

Creating Fan-Centric Content With AI

WSC’s highlight automation improved the speed of ESPN’s content creation.

Re-Imagining Storytelling With AI

Amy Anderson, Head of Content Strategy at NASCAR Studios, discusses the role of AI technology in developing and growing new content.

Sports Content Kings: NASCAR’s Amy Anderson on Re-Imagining Storytelling With AI

Read an interview with NASCAR Studios Head of Content Strategy, Amy Anderson, to learn how her team is re-imagining storytelling.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How the US Open is Designed for Drama


Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.

How Sportradar and the NBA are Partnering to Fuel Fan Engagement

How Sportradar and the NBA are utilizing data to enhance fan engagement
April 25, 2023

Oakland A’s Could Share Stadium with Triple-A Team

The Oakland A’s could be searching for a place to play.

MLS’ Chris Schlosser on Pioneering the Digital-First Sports League with AI

Chris Schlosser discusses MLS’s growth and digital transformation.

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
Titans stadium.
April 19, 2023

Titans’ Historic New $2.1B Stadium One Step Closer to Reality

About $1.26B in public money would go toward the new stadium.
May 20, 2022

Crypto Crash Impact on Sports Sponsorships

Prior to the last two weeks, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, exchanges, and a host…
March 11, 2022

The Evolution of Consumer Wearables

The wearables market has seen incredible amounts of growth since the onset of the pandemic. Trends like telemedicine and remote patient monitoring have helped spur adoption and inspired new consumer products that allow for the tracking and collection of biometric data.
February 11, 2022

The Role of Live Sports in Streaming

The streaming wars have intensified as the field is as competitive as ever. One way to retain customers? The answer might be live sports.