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FanDom Sports Media (CSE:FDM,OTCQB:FDMSF,Frankfurt:TQ42) is a sports entertainment and gaming company, whose primary product is the FanDom Sports App—a “sports bar in the palm of your hand”, officially launched in July 2017. There are plenty of other sports apps used to track stats and scores; get news highlights; and follow favorite teams and players. FanDom Sports’ app is unique in that it provides fans a forum in which to square off in raw, authentic sports debates—with real closure.
“We aim to be one of the most valuable sports companies that owns no teams and no player rights. This is the platform where the fans settle the score,” said FanDom Sports President and CEO Henri Holm.
On FanDom Sports, users from around the world can log in to commiserate or celebrate with like-minded fans; test their sports trivia knowledge; and debate those with opposing views—using a virtual currency to “bet” on arguments and accumulate status. Currently, the company is targeting six major sports, but it will expand its offerings as demand allows.
In addition to its portfolio of interactive features and games, FanDom Sports also blends curated content with user-generated content, and provides access to athletes and celebrities both online and at live sponsored events. During these events, professional athletes and commentators can engage and debate with users via the FanDom Sports app. Bloggers, pundits and athletes are also invited to syndicate content through FanDom for a share of sponsorship and ad revenue.
FanDom Sports intends to cover all major smartphone OS by the end of 2017. Once the app is accessible across all major platforms, management expects a rapid SnapChat-like growth curve, going from 1,000 users to 100,000 users in short order. To get there, FanDom relies on its global, hand-picked team of managers and directors, and its accredited technical experts, who possess a track record of wins in app and game development.
“We have technology specialists who have built these types of apps before, launched them and scaled them. We have a very strong operational team who can implement all the different plans and ideas. And we have a content curation and creation team who are veterans from the sports, media and music industries,” said Holm, a Harvard Business School Alumni and former Senior Vice President at Rovio Entertainment, known for its highly successful Angry Birds franchise.
On top of a strong managerial and development front-bench, FanDom Sports possesses seasoned financial-sector experts, including FanDom Sports Founder and Director Blair Naughty. Naughty, winner of numerous business magazine accolades, privately developed and launched over 150 e-commerce websites through Naughty Capital Ltd., which has raised over $100 million to date.
FanDom Sports can also call upon an experienced advisory board chaired by professional athletes, celebrities and executives with decades of experience in the sports and entertainment industries.
- A unique debate resolution platform targeting fans across a wide range of sports
- Analysts anticipating explosive growth in the sports market
- Strong management team with decades of experience
- Award-winning technical team with many successes in the app and game industries
- Excellent access to capital internationally
The North American sports market is expected to grow from $63.9 billion in 2015 to $75.7 billion by 2020, according to a 2015 report by the accounting firm PwC. Most of these revenue gains are expected to come from the growing value of media rights and sponsorship because of the high engagement of users on social media during live broadcasts.
FanDom Sports is looking to capture some of this enthusiasm and turn it into a revenue stream. FanDom pursues a multi-pronged revenue generation strategy. It sells ad space on its app, with banners and buttons, video ads and sponsorships. The app is also built as a widget, enabling sports teams to implement FanDom’s white labelled back end Argument Engine™ on their own team apps.
Curated Content and Live Events
In the FanDom Life section, users access aggregated, curated and produced content. They can watch videos of favorite athletes (along with entertainers and musicians) who talk about their lives “off the field” or as they’re preparing for a big game. FanDom’s “holy grail” would be to capitalize on its network and produce branded content, matching advertisers and brands with athletes, celebs or fans.
The company already brings in athletes, pundits and celebrities to drive engagement. These personalities include UFC Hall of Famer and UFC commentator, Don “The Predator Frye”, who partnered with FanDom Sports in September 2016 to host a twice-weekly show on UFC–and argue and debate with fans and users via the app.
“For advertisers to stay relevant today, they need to be integrated with a brand story. A banner advertisement on top doesn’t work. It doesn’t engage a younger audience that is more story driven,” said Holm. “Once a brand participates on the platform, they get a chance to build their own stories; and we can give them our analytics and backend access to help them target the consumer types they want to address.”
Using Gamification to drive Engagement
Where FanDom Sports is truly unique, however, is in its use of gamification strategies deployed extensively in the video gaming industry. These are used to entice users to keep coming back to the FanDom app. FanDom hosts an environment in which users get invested as ‘players’, competing against one another for prestige and rewards.
“We give you possibility to participate in debates that have resolution. You can open up your own debates with your friends and friends groups; and the best debates will be out there to be debated by millions. Everything will have a beginning and an end — winners and losers,” said Holm.
On the FanDom “Sports Court” users can challenge each other to debate current topics. These debates are adjudicated, with user polls providing closure on who is the winning side.
In turn, FanDom Sports users can bet on the outcome of arguments using a virtual currency. This currency only has in-app value and is not intended for real-world gambling. Users get a fixed stipend of this virtual cash when they first sign up. Afterwards, the more they contribute, and the more “bets” they win, the more virtual currency they accumulate, and the higher their standing on the platform. Users can also earn status points by testing their sports trivia knowledge against each other in the FanDom Facts section of the app.
FanDom Sports also features in-app purchases that allow users to gain posting privileges, vanity items, prizes and invitations to sponsored events.
Henri Holm – President & CEO
Mr. Holm brings over 20 years of international hands-on strategy execution experience. A Harvard Business School Alumni, his accomplishments include scaling-up the functions for multinational firms, covering digital content, gamification, brand management, licensing, mobile devices, manufacturing, distribution and retail operations.
Focused on consumer and partner value, Henri’s most recent executive positions include holding the CFO role at Intigral Corp., which is a leading provider of video products, billing and sports content services within the Middle-East region.
Additionally, Mr. Holm was Senior Vice President at Rovio Entertainment, where he oversaw the development and growth of the highly successful Angry Birds franchise across Asia. As well, Henri held progressive titles ranging from Chief Financial Officer, Head of Business Operations, Global Category Marketing Manager, Key Account Manager and Product Manager at various divisions of Nokia from 1995 to 2011.
Blair Naughty – Founder & Director
Blair has over 25 years of experience in the securities industry, Blair has privately developed and launched over 150 e-commerce websites through Naughty Capital Ltd., raising over 100 million dollars to date.
Alex Helmel – Chief Financial Officer
Alex has over 12 years of experience in the Canadian capital markets and over 20 years in the technology sector, focusing on asset development.
Allen Ezer – Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Ezer is a capital markets and corporate finance professional with more than a decade and-a-half of investment advisory, trading, corporate strategy, product launch and funding experience, coupled with start-up business management skills. Beginning his career with a “Tier-1” chartered Canadian bank, Allen transitioned into product & operational start-up, strategic partnership and channel management consulting roles where he has navigated landscapes within the financial services, defence technology, mining, manufacturing and international distribution sectors. With his extensive public market compliance understanding, Mr. Ezer’s current and previous directorship tenures include Audit and Corporate Governance committee Chair positions for multiple public companies.
Bill McGraw – Director
Bill McGraw is a Board Member of the company and a veteran mobile executive. Bill has spent his career working primarily in the technology sector specializing in wireless and mobile startups. Bill has delivered mobile marketing campaigns for both large firms such as Ford, Rawlings, and Molson-Coors.
He has also worked for small firms, started several businesses and executed plans for sales, marketing, product and service offering development, client management, pricing models, operational execution and financials.
He has hired, developed and managed both staff and consultants by providing the processes and framework to ensure theirs and the company’s success. He’s hands on and known as someone who can be relied on for innovative thinking and for getting things done.
Jeff Hunt – Director
Jeff Hunt is one of Canada’s best known sports executives. He is President and part owner of the Ottawa Redblacks football club of the Canadian Football League (CFL), Governor and part owner of the CHL’s Ottawa 67’s and a Partner in the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment group which owns and operates Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park retail district and manages the TD Place stadium and arena complex.
Mr. Hunt left his family home in Newfoundland for Ottawa in 1983 to start adding form to his entrepreneurial vision. In his first year in the new city, Jeff started a carpet cleaning firm and over the next 15-years, franchised it, expanded into the US and sold the thriving business to Sears. That sale, in 1998, enabled Jeff to pursue his dream of owning and managing a hockey team, the Ottawa 67’s.
After selling-out his first home opener and winning the Memorial Cup in his first season, Hunt built the 67’s into a thriving business. The team ranked number one or two in OHL attendance for the next decade and never missed the playoffs. The team’s previous owner had been spending just $25,000 a year on marketing costs, but Mr. Hunt would spend that amount every week once he became the new owner.
Mr. Hunt’s success with the 67’s was sighted by the Canadian Football League as an important factor in its decision to award an expansion franchise to Ottawa. That franchise, the REDBLACKS, has since become the toast of the town, routinely selling-out games, making it to the Grey Cup in its second year of operation and winning the Grey Cup in 2016.
During his career, Jeff Hunt’s accomplishments have been recognized with multiple awards, including five Profit Magazine Fast-100 and two Fast-50 awards. He has also been named OHL and Canadian Hockey League Executive of the Year and in 2015 he was named to the Yahoo Canada Sports list of the top 25 “Movers and Shakers” who have the most influence over sport in Canada. In January 2017, Jeff was named Ottawa’s Favorite Entrepreneur by Faces Magazine.
Scott “DJ SKEE” Keeney – Director
Mr. Scott Keeney started his broadcast career on the radio at the age of 16 in Minneapolis, MN. He is recognized as one of the most influential figures in today’s entertainment business by both Forbes & Billboard magazine, DJ SKEE is carving a new definition for what a DJ is. With a thriving career as an entertainer and multiple ventures under his umbrella, DJ SKEE is at the forefront of popular culture. As an entrepreneur and digital pioneer, he founded the biggest all original digital broadcast platform in the world, Dash Radio. During, his career, DJ SKEE has worked with almost every major sports league, from the MLB to the NFL to the NBA.
In raw numbers, DJ SKEE has generated over one billion media impressions in under a decade, and has a network of over 500,000 social network followers. DJ SKEE can be heard daily on the radio, seen performing at the biggest events across the world, heard scoring movies & video games or remixing todays biggest artists, running a record label, production company, and marketing agency. He can also be seen on his hit FUSE TV show SKEE LIVE, with the likes of Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest, Snoop Dogg, Jooba Loc, Cozz, Travis Mills, JMSN, JOJO, Joey Bada$$, Skizzy Mars and more.
DJ SKEE has been featured on AEG, MTV, FOX, CNN, CBS, KTLA, BET, NBC, NUVO, and CAA television networks. In 2014, DJ SKEE hosted GRAMMY Live backstage at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, doing the official first interviews with the winners as they walked off stage for CBS.
Tristan Brent – Director
Tristan has 18 plus years of creative experience in the video game industry, including international hits Need for Speed and Medal of Honour. He has credits on over 15 AAA Console/PC games.
Adrian Cook – Director
Adrian has over 18 years of game production experience, including credits on 30 plus mobile games and titles. He was named Canadian Games Producer of the Year in 2006.