We are a crowdfunding platform that specialises in all things sport.
- Dublin, Ireland
Categories: Travel, Leisure & Sport Mixed Digital/Non-Digital B2C
We started PledgeSports because we wanted to create a business around the massively valuable crowdfunding industry, which has gained huge momentum since its inception and brought in more than $10 billion in 2014. We also wanted to find a solution to the problem of funding within the sporting industry. As life-time sporting enthusiasts, we have seen too many sports people give up on their talents due to a lack of funding. Unless they are at the very top of the food chain, most sports people, teams, and clubs have to rely on regular fundraising.
Crowdfunding is the solution. And so PledgeSports was born.
After a years planning we started building the platform in November 2013 and launched in February 2014 with a visually striking site that was tailored to sports.
We offer an online funding solution to anything sports related and plan to become the biggest sports crowdfunding platform in the world in the next 12 months.
We launched in late February, 2014. Since then we feel we have made a huge impact on the practice of sports funding.
We offer a solution to funding needs that not only helps raise money but also increases profile, publicity, and fanbase for our users. We have genuinely changed the lives of many of our clients by helping them raise funds needed to participate in international competitions and Olympic training. We have even given them the platform to connect to corporate sponsors and open doors to state and governing body funding streams. Crowdfunding has been the ultimate solution to many of the issues the sporting industry faces today.
We have expanded rapidly and are now well established in the UK and Ireland and launched our first US-based projects late last year. We aim to launch in France and Belgium in February, our platform is now set up to take on any European or US-based projects.
Substantial accomplishments to date
We have successfully generated revenue from the first day of our launch in February, 2014 and were the first crowdfunding platform in the world to our knowledge that has successfully funded a tennis player. We have quickly established ourselves as a global name in sports crowdfunding.
We are the first platform, we are aware of, to implement an advertising revenue stream and we are now getting traction with corporate sponsorship to help our athletes raise the funds they need.
We have been successful in raising amounts well in excess of £10,000 as well as successfully meeting clients targets in as little as five days.
In November we were voted best sports website at the Eircom Spider Awards in Ireland.
We have featured in many media publications from Bloomberg, The New York Times and Tennishead.
When a funding campaign is set up on PledgeSport.org; fans, friends family, the general public, and companies contribute money online. We take an 8% fee on all money raised.
We have spent a lot of time perfecting our site and have just rebuilt it for the third time, making it more user-friendly and optimising it for social collaboration. We are now ready to scale up and start dealing with larger projects. We believe our history shows there is a massive opportunity for sports-oriented crowdfunding and upcoming events, such as Rio 2016 should only serve to boost the demand for our platform.
Given that most of the people using and visiting our site are sports fans, we have just launched a non-intrustive advertising platform which, as far as we are aware, is a first in our market.
This allows companies to advertise on the 'Brand Partners' area of our site. We also intend to roll out corporate partnerships. These would either be country or sport specific, or for the business as a whole.
We also have future plans to integrate a social network and will be complemented by the valuable database of sports people and their fans that we already have.
Use of proceeds
We want to be the number one sports crowdfunding platform in the world by 2016 and to get here we need to create a big presence worldwide.
We will use the funds raised to employ more staff and market our business in the UK, US, and throughout Europe.
We are one of the first platforms in the UK, so we want to increase our presence here and our position as the top sports crowdfunding platform in Europe.
We want to properly gain momentum in the US market in the first quarter of 2015. We see this as the strongest and most valuable area and most of the funds raised will go towards advertising and increasing our presence in the US.
Our primary target market is anything sport related, from athletes /teams / clubs to events and venues. In 2015 we will also target start up or early stage sport brands, who want to raise publicity and money through crowdfunding.
In the last 12 months, we have launched high-profile, successful campaigns in the UK, US, and Ireland. In the next 12 months we will be focused on increasing our reach and brand awareness across the US and expanding into the rest of Europe.
Characteristics of target market
Crowdfunding, whilst still in its infancy, has increased exponentially since 2011 and is forecasted to have raised over $10 billion in 2014. Given that our market covers every sport - clubs, athletes, teams, events or start-up brands that needs funding, it is very hard to put a figure on the market size, but we feel it is massive.
We have a technology platform that is running cross-platform, integrated marketing strategies, with a particular focus on social media. Due to the nature of the business model, social media is a key driver for us, delivering over 65% of our site traffic, and it will continue to be a key focus for the next 12 months.
We have also engaged regularly through traditional media, such as sports-related magazines and websites, and employed some traditional PR campaigns.
We have also seen great success through guerrilla marketing and word of mouth.
We have seen a select number of companies that operate similar reward-based crowdfunding campaigns and have executed sporting campaigns - however PledgeSports, through its user-friendly interface and unique design has had success across the UK and Ireland. This has given us a unique position in nearby markets as well as a wealth of experience in successfully funding sports projects.
There are a few new companies in the US, but this market is in its infancy and our greater experience in European markets should allow us to successfully transition fully into this market as well - we have already successfully funded US-based athletes.