This week I am very excited to have an interview with the CEO of SportyCo Marko Filej! Marko will talk about himself, the team behind SportyCo, the underlying technology behind SportyCo, where SportyCo is headed in the next few years, and the exciting partnerships that has world renown athletes such as Roberto Carlos and Ronaldinho Gaucho, and BitcoinFoundation.org’s founder Charlie Shrem!
Let us jump right into this exciting interview! Marko, thank you for putting the time aside for the interview. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself — Where are you from, how did you hear about cryptocurrency, and what made you want to pursue now known as SportyCo.
"During my entrepreneurial career I was always drawn to the sports industry — especially to bringing sports and a healthy lifestyle to a wider audience. This led to the establishment of online platforms like Trainers4Me and OnlineGym4Me, where the idea was to open up the opportunities for new technology offers when setting up sports platforms, and disrupting existing models.
Working in the industry opened a lot of doors to some very exciting people and insights, and usually the discussion always moved towards the question: “What is the biggest obstacle in sports today?” If we talk about amateur sports, it’s dedication — we can all recall the numerous failed New Year’s resolutions. But what about the ones, who have the will, and the talent, and a dream to become a pro? The answer is, of course, funding.
And this is where the SportyCo idea was born — opening up an industry, where there’s a lot of hard work and passion, and helping towards the success of people who dedicate their life to sports and the idea sports represents — while building a viable business on top of this idea. It was a logical jump to harness the opportunities the crypto world offers in disrupting existing models and replacing them with new, less centralized, more open systems."
Could you talk a little bit about how you found your team, and the professional advisors listed on the website.
"We (me, Simon and Tomaz, the cofounders of SportyCo) wanted to work with a team of experts in their respective fields on this project. So we started as a small, but dedicated and very experienced team, where everyone believed in the idea, had multiple roles and complemented each other, and grew from there.
The advisors, especially the ones who are athletes, were quickly onboard with the idea — most, if not all athletes still remember the first steps in their careers, when they had to rely on their parents’ financial investment to get to the point where they could sign their first pro contract. They know from firsthand experience how hard it is for someone to find people who believe in their success, so the basic idea of SportyCo really resonates with sports professionals, as they all could really use a platform like this when they started out in sports."
With such an impressive lineup of ambassadors and sport advisors, could tell us how you were able to approach them considering that cryptocurrency is somewhat a grey cloud, and how they are helping SportyCo move forward
"The main idea of SportyCo is the one that convinced them to join the project: helping to solve the biggest problem sports industry has. But this is hard to set up, as it involves a lot of work to set up a system with a lot of participants in a contractual agreement. What the blockchain technology enables us to do is to be much more transparent when doing it — at a fraction of the involvement required from both athletes as well as investors. So when you are solving a legitimate industry problem, and do it in a very transparent and straightforward way, it’s something people are willing to support, both with their knowledge as well as their reputation.
The role of our sports advisors is of course not only to support and promote the project — we are building a platform for athletes and who better to help us do it than athletes. :) We are getting a lot of insight and suggestions from our advisors, both from a perspective of an up and coming athlete as well as from the perspective of sports professionals — people who know the sports business. So in addition to spreading the word they are also helping us to build a more useful platform and a better business."
Consider that I am an average Joe that you meet at a gas station and we had small talk while pumping gas in our cars. I have heard about cryptocurrency and I am looking to diversify my portfolio. How would you explain SportyCo in a simplistic way for an average joe like myself to understand?
"Sports industry is a big business — that does not need explaining. But the industry is closed to small investors. On the other hand, a lot of very talented young athletes never reach their full potential due to several factors, of which not having the financial means to train, to compete and to better themselves is the main reason.
SportyCo will enable small investors to support talented athletes on the beginning of their career. By investing in a prospective athlete for a percentage of their future earnings, you enable them to focus on that which is important — training, competing, becoming a pro — and increasing the chances of their success — and, concurrently, the investors’ success."
What is the underlying technology of SportyCo and what industry are you anticipating to disrupt?
"Well we are working on disrupting the sports industry, and are one of the first crypto-based startups to do so. The sports industry is a $1.3 trillion beast, and we believe there’s an opportunity in opening up this relatively closed industry by enabling everyone to participate in sports investing and on the other hand harnessing the talent and dedication currently going to waste due to financial demands of becoming a pro athlete."
Is SportyCo currently listed on any exchange? If so, which ones and are there any more exchanges that you aspire to be on?
"We are currently listed on several exchanges: OKEx, HitBTC, ChaoEX, KuCoin, Livecoin, IDEX and Etherdelta. We are in discussions with several other exchanges to list the SPF token, and will disclose them as the deals are finalized."
Could you tell us how the SPF token is used in SportyCo and how the masses can benefit from having SPF?
"SPF is a utility token, enabling holders to participate in the SportyCo ecosystem. Each crowdfunding campaign on SportyCo’s platform will be listed in SPF Tokens. SPF Tokens will also be used to purchase additional services that SportyCo will provide to athletes, sports clubs, investors, and other participants in the ecosystem. We are working on building new services on top of our platform, giving SPF Token holders even more options to utilize their holdings, but first we want to set up the basic infrastructure."
Recently, SportyCo underwent rebranding from SportyFi, could you tell us a little bit about why?
"Since the beginning of the SportyFi project the amalgam of “sports finances” is, we believe, the best tongue-in-cheek description of what we try to achieve: change how sports and athletes are being financed to achieve athletic success. But we have decided that the platform needs a more recognizable and unique name (especially for better search positioning), that will, if I may joke a little, also get mistyped less.
We didn’t want to departure much from the existing name, and I think SportyCo, which draws from the idea of cooperation between athletes and investors, is a great name, encompassing our mission and being unique enough to ensure everybody who is interested in the ecosystem can find it easily."
Where do you see SPF in the next five years, and how does your team aspire to reach there (roadmap)?
"I will use this opportunity to be optimistic, but I think also realistic — we plan to be the leading decentralized sports investment platform and a relevant player in the sports industry much sooner than in five years. But if I go into specifics: we’ve just launched the beta version of the platform, enabling athletes to crowdfund their careers through donation. This will be followed by the final version of the platform end of March (2018), enabling complex investment into up and coming athletes.
This will give us the opportunity to develop new and exciting services on top of the platform. We will offer add-on services to athletes, sports organizations and also investors on our platform, which will help us monetize the platform. We have a lot of marketing activities in the pipeline already — from getting new and prominent supporters and ambassadors, to reaching out through partners in select regional markets to further our presence there.
The World Cup 2018 is a great opportunity for putting SportyCo even more on the radar of the sports community and we have several really exciting ideas for the summer. These next kickoff months will also give us the opportunity to refine our business model together with our advisors, wrapping up the year with an upgrade of our platform, which I won’t disclose right at this moment, but will be an even bigger disruption on the industry as what we will present in the next month.
So I believe the future is very bright for the whole SportyCo ecosystem — the team working on it, the investors using it and the athletes getting the opportunity to focus on getting the best athletic result possible."
Are there any final thoughts that you would like to tell the Altcoin Community?
"We are living in a unique time period, where a combination of technology and community has disrupted the existing model for financing startups — it is much easier today to get funds as a small company with an idea, compared to a couple years ago, if you build your product on blockchain technology. This is a boom, but also a responsibility — towards the community investing, and towards the people our products and platforms will serve. I strongly believe there are a lot of ideas out there utilizing the blockchain to truly disrupt the world we live in and, speaking for the whole SportyCo team, we are happy and grateful to be part of this revolution that is happening."
Thank you for your time!
"Thank you for having me."
What an amazingly insightful interview that gives a clearer understanding of SportyCo. I love the idea of SportyCo being the go-to in order to acquire funding on an athletes early days before sponsorship. I was into motor sports growing up and wanted to be a race car driver. I got a reality check when I realized how much funding is needed just starting out — such as you need your own vehicle, you need spare parts in case the car parts break, if you damage your vehicle you need to buy a new one and the list goes on. Had SportyCo been around, I am sure that I could prove my talent, passion, and drive in order to get some financial support for my early stages!
Notably, if you were following closely, it seems that SportyCo has some big moves for the summer of 2018 what with the soccer world cup coming up in June! Not to mention the decisiveness of being the leading decentralized sports investment platform sooner than five years.
My final thoughts is that SportyCo is a good project that I would recommend you dive deeper into. Personally, I will be adding SPF to my portfolio and following SportyCo and their team closely.
Blockchain: Ethereum Classification: ERC-20 Token Function: Utility token Project status: Beta version of platform launched (www.sportyco.net) Consensus algorithm: Proof of Stake/Proof of Work Circulating supply: 51,110,775 SPF Total supply: 70,673,454 SPF Market cap: 15.000.000 USD Exchanges: OKEx, HitBTC, ChaoEX, KuCoin, Livecoin, IDEX and Etherdelta Token sale opening date: 21 November 2017 Token sale closing date: 10 December 2017