Fan360 is a decentralized sports fans engagement and reward platform. Simply put, it is a blockchain based solution that rewards you for your passion of sports. Sports fans get a comprehensive update of everything related to their favorite sports stars in real time. Social media updates, news, and scores are all in one place where fans can personalize who or what teams they would like to follow. Fans will be rewarded for being engaged in the platform.
Katja Gersak, the CEO of FAN360, has set some time aside to answer some questions about the project, the team behind it, and much more.
A good place to start would be telling us a bit more about yourself – what is your background in business and/or cryptocurrency?
"I have a very international background having lived in six countries. By education I have an international relations and a policy background. Having also worked in that sector, I started up a think tank and NGO which is still successfully running today, I have a solid grasp on legislative processes and policy making. It goes without saying that having a great network of policy makers in Europe is now helpful as the legislation regulating crypto is far from fully developed in the majority of European countries.
I have also worked as the Vice President of Business Angels in Slovenia, assisting start ups with obtaining funding and working closely with a selected few on their growth strategies. Through this community I became involved in crypto about a year ago (2017).
I chose to dedicate all of my time to Fan360 because it stands out from other projects in the quality of the team as well as quality of product. Having seen hundreds of start-ups, Fan360 simply has the right combination of factors which are needed to succeed."
What sparked you to start Fan360?
"The evolution of fan360 started in 2016 by two founding members on our team: Matheus and Martin. It sprung from a frustration that following news on sports stars has become time-consuming and burdensome. Why should modern fans have to go to 5 or more different news outlets and social media just to keep updated about what’s happening with their favorite sports stars and teams? So the first pillar of the product - news aggregate - was born out of that frustration.
The application, which is now available on iOS and Android as well, allows fans to choose which sports star they want to follow as well as which club, and it collects news from 30 media sources, and 5 of the biggest social media platforms (FB, twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest).
The second pillar which is now being built was born out of the second frustration that fans are spending countless hours, money and personally investing their passion into sports. But somehow they don’t seem to be compensated for that. On Fan360, fans will be rewarded with tokens for engaging - for sharing content, contributing photos, liking, writing etc."
Would you say it is vital for Fan360 to succeed, and why?
"In a world where sports fans are demanding more engaged and immersive experiences, it’s time for fans around the world to reap the benefits of technological advancement. Today’s sports fans expect the same level of convenience that technology affords them in all other aspects of everyday life. Fan360 offers just that, a modern fan experience.
I believe that Fan360 is in the forefront of this evolution which is essentially driven by fans wanting a better experience, wanting to get more value. So the fans and their demand will dictate the tempo of this transformation. To us and our numerous supporters of course, it is vital for us to succeed, but I have no doubt that if we do not do it, someone else on the market will. One cannot stop the course of change."
The Fan360 platform has a tokenization system in place – could you briefly talk about how it will work?
"Fans will be rewarded with tokens for engaging on Fan360. For every action such as liking, sharing, contributing content, writing a blog, fans will be rewarded with tokens. They will be able to redeem tokens for tickets, merchandise and a special experience (such as meeting a sports star or getting VIP access at a stadium etc).
We will also enable brands and clubs to run brand activation campaigns by putting tokens back into the community and rewarding fans for sharing content that is related to that brand or club."
If someone is not into cryptocurrency but has downloaded and is engaging on the Fan360 network, seeing as they have not dabbled in the crypto realm, how would they be rewarded? Would they need to be educated on how tokens work and how they could be liquidized?
"Indeed cryptocurrency is new to a lot of people, but the concept is not so new. Many consumers collect points by shopping at a particular supermarket or online store - effectively they are getting rewarded for their loyalty. To the fans that have not engaged with cryptocurrency, this concept of getting rewarded and redeeming the reward is still familiar.
The difference being that tokens can also be traded at the crypto exchanges. So yes, there is a bit of a learning curve and we are taking that into account. We will make the application very user friendly - click of a button to create a wallet, click of a button to redeem tokens. We will make sure plenty of information is available on Fan360 that guides users through these steps as well as a community managing team that will be assisting users.
We have now already passed from computer-savvy to mobile-savvy..adopting new tech is the ‘thing’!"
Fan360 has a remarkable superstar line up of ambassadors: from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, to soccer superstar Angel Di Maria, and world renown investor and one of the original sharks on the popular show Shark Tank: Kevin Harrington, I am sure they bring fresh eyes and potential investments to Fan360. However, their followers might not be tech savvy, let alone crypto-savvy. How will Fan360 be able to convert these individuals from fans to potential users of the platform?
"Every second person on this planet is a sports fan, saying that sports fans may not be tech savvy is like saying that half of this planet is disconnected from mobiles and computers..which we all know is far from true!
As you mentioned we have some real star power on board, but this is only the beginning. Right after the ICO we will bring more than 20 football players on the platform on a weekly basis for them to endorse Fan360 and create content that is unique to Fan360. These players have a following of more than 200 million fans so it is our firm conviction that we will be able to entice 7 million of these fans to engage on Fan360.
In addition, and as an added incentive, we will offer a few special experiences to selected fans who join us early, enabling them to meet with some football stars."
The first partnership is with RCD Espanyol – which is a professional sports club based in Barcelona, Spain that plays in the La Liga league (soccer league in Spain). They are also the first professional football club to adopt blockchain technology. There are two questions from these statements which are 1) How is RCD Espanyol using blockchain technology, and 2) what does the Fan360 and RCD Espanyol partnership entail?
"We are proud that RCD Espanyol from Barcelona, one of the founder of LaLiga, the most seen football leagues in Europe and in the world is our partner.
Espanyol is implementing a CRM using blockchain technology to manage the Club’s database of contacts, athletes and of course their fanbase as well as using blockchain as a way to gain a better understanding of the fans’ engagement and in turn be able to improve the fan experience.
The partnership between Fan360 and RCD Espanyol is centered on fans. Fan360 and RCD Espanyol joined tech forces to build a blockchain community that will allow the "Precious" fans to be rewarded by supporting Espanyol.
The Club has an innovative mindset of offering the latest technologies and in that sense believes that Fan360 provides value added and will greatly enhance the fan experience. The Club also wants to increase sales of more tickets for their games, bring more attendees to the stadium and also make their product accessible to more people. The integration between their system with Fan360 will allow the Club to offer all this benefits in one single place, and generate even more VIP experiences with their idols and fans."
Fan360 is currently focusing more on soccer because it is the world’s most popular sport. Are there plans to add other sports? If so, what sports is Fan360 targeting, and is there a timeline?
"Football (soccer) is indeed very popular and truly global in nature as it is now gaining major momentum in Asia, Middle East as well as North America. Besides this, our team has a very high level of connections in football with top players and owners of sports clubs, which is a huge advantage for Fan360.
You can imagine the level of recognizability if Gianluigi Buffon talks about Fan360 as opposed to you and me talking about it. We are now committed to making the whole ecosystem work, for fans, brands and clubs focusing on football before we enter other sports.
Using the same strategy of high level access when expanding to other sports, we are now already gaining some valuable connections namely in basketball and American football. We believe that we can have a fully running ecosystem on our platform with millions of users within one year, after this we expand to other sports."
In any business, niche, or industry there are always competitors. Who are your competitors and what makes Fan360 unique from them?
"Certainly we have competitors and that is a good thing. It implies that we are entering a space where there is a need for the solutions we provide. Our competition includes projects such as London Football Exchange, Fanly and Olyseum. Our strength and key advantage is not just one thing but a combination of factors.
We believe our key advantages stem from all of the elements below:
1) We offer a holistic experience: including news aggregator, social media platform with a reward system, sports products and special experience (such as meeting a sports star) - most other sites offer one or two at most, of these experiences
2) We already have a working product and getting feedback, and engagement with over 130,000 fans
3) Our founding team has not only great experience but also high level connections in football
4) We have a very experienced team with 5 blockchain developers who are constantly working on our reward system to be top notch
5) We have very strong partnerships built already which also attest to the strength of our team
6) We have great links with some top exchanges and will be listed right after the ICO
7) We have an aggressive marketing plan - ICO growth plan, reaching out to more than 200 million fans through the football stars that will endorse and talk about Fan360 and thus growing our user base to 7 million users by Q12019"
Shifting gears, can you talk a bit more about the actual product – what is Fan360 in its core? How can Fans engage and be rewarded?
"At its core, Fan360 is a platform that rewards fans’ passion for sports. It is about rewards and recognition for fans: reward for doing things that they do on other platforms anyway but get nothing in return. Recognition of their contribution. Imagine sports without fans. Well, it is so dull that it is unimaginable. We will give fans that are proactive, that would like to build a following of their own, that would like to be heard and have recognition - we give them just that, getting their voice heard.
We will enable fans to climb up through different levels and the fans that will be the most engaged will also be featured in news feeds of their favorite sports stars for millions of others to see, they will be able to grow their own following and celebrity status and most of all they will be able to monetize their passion and loyalty for the sport."
Essentially, fans will be rewarded for engagement – is there a cap on how much an individual can receive per day/week/month?
"Right, so contributing a post, sharing news, photos, all actions will be rewarded. The mechanics are as follows:
Fan360 will retain a pool of 10% of tokens, which amounts to 5,000,000 tokens in order to reward the fans for their engagement. In the first 900 days we will distribute 5,555 tokens into the community every day.
The rewarding actions will be assigned a certain amount of points. When reaching a certain level of points, users will be able to convert them to tokens or use them for further promoting of their posts and climbing up the ‘fan star ranking'."
Fans will be able to engage directly with their favorite sports stars via a “Special Experience Campaign”. Could you talk more on this?
"We would like to get fans closer to their sports stars - literally. We will package special experiences such as meet and greet with a football star, play some challenges with them, may be have some drinks with your selected friends or with other favorite sports star, get VIP tickets to games and many more.
Fans will be able to purchase these on Fan360 with their tokens.
We will also conduct campaigns where fans will also be able to participate for the chance of winning a special experience with renowned sports stars and brands."
Switching to the actual token: FAN, is it a utility token? If so, what are some key utilities that it will be used in?
"Yes, it is a utility token and it is essential to fueling our ecosystem. We are building an ecosystem with the following stakeholders:
- FANS: fans are central to our platform, as mentioned they will get rewarded with tokens which they can redeem for tickets, merchandise and special experience.
- BRANDS: when we reach the critical mass of at least 3 million users we will then enable brands to run brand activation campaigns: for example, Nike will give tokens to fans who share the best or most creative video of playing football with your friends in Nike sneakers or Nike t-shirt - that way fans get rewarded, Nike gets direct engagement and feedback from fans, they can reach micro-influencers and build brand ambassadors through Fan360 and the tokens circulate. In turn Nike can also offer special edition product on Fan360 for fans to purchase.
- CLUBS: we will also bring clubs into this partnership - a number of clubs have similar interests in reaching out to the fans in an interactive way, which Fan360 enables. We already have a partnership with RCD Espanyol, which is one of Spanish most prominent football clubs. We can also tackle the secondary ticketing market with blockchain, and clubs would be interested in that too - but that is further down the road
So fans get rewarded - use tokens to purchase - brands and clubs use tokens to reward fans for brand activation campaigns and the token circulates. We will of course also be listed on major exchanges."
Is Fan360 ERC-20 compliant?
"Yes, Fan360 is ERC20 compliant.
We will also use the newly confirmed standard ERC721 which enables the placement of non fungible tokens on the blockchain. For instance, information such as a ticket number and identity of a purchaser of that ticket can be recorded in form of a token which can in turn be held in the user’s wallet and shared at will."
Why is it necessary to hold a crowdsale (ICO) rather than doing it how other businesses started which is raising funds?
"The core of the Fan360 product rests on the reward system for fans and the entire ecosystem we are building cannot function without our token.
In addition to the token crowdsale is also a great opportunity to reach early adopters, which is instrumental to us given that we are building a large community of users. In that sense we have an additional advantage already - we have a working product with a following of fans and we are ready to scale this immediately."
The offered token exchange rate is said to be $1 to 1 FAN token – how are you certain of this price as exchanges are unpredictable?
"Given that Fan is a utility token, there are three key factors that are of crucial importance: it is important for the token to be listed, to be needed by people, and to be used.
We will be listed right after the ICO due to our links to top exchanges. Our fan base will grow rapidly, because we will bring top footballers on Fan360 right after the ICO, so there will be many people who need the coin, hence a high demand. And finally the coin will be used by people to make purchases, fans buying tickets/ special experience on Fan360, by brands doing advertising and running brand activation campaigns etc. So the three elements that are needed for coin value appreciation are fulfilled."
There is a $30 million hard cap and a $5 million soft cap – Are these large amounts truly necessary for starting up a company such as Fan360?
"We are building a global business in an industry that is worth more than $1.4 billion annually. Our aim is to be the biggest sports platform in the world and in that sense we will invest 40% of the amount raised into marketing and 20% into the product.
We are starting out in football (soccer) because of our excellent network and access to top players and club owners. As you can see on our website we already have celebrity sports start Ambassadors, Gianluigi Buffon and Angel DiMaria. We are going to bring 20+ more on board right after the ICO in order to endorse and create unique content for fans that will only be available on Fan360.
Our aggressive growth strategy is a combination of high level access to football stars and clubs and the marketing budget to make Fan360 known in a short amount of time.
The potential is massive, but there are major costs associated with this kind of growth.
First of all we need the product to be perfected and to evolve constantly, not only to meet the demand of modern customers but also to provide them with a better experience than they could get anywhere else. Furthermore the costs associated with making a brand a household name around the globe make our ICO seem like peanuts.
I have no doubt that you have recently heard of the application LegGo, which is aggressively marketing their platform, where they raised $175 million, and now an additional $100 million.
Now you are probably asking yourself where ‘on the map’ is Fan360 with only a fraction of funding - this is where our excellent network comes into play as leverage. We have the connections to get endorsements and content from sports stars who are already globally recognized. Me saying that Fan360 is awesome has a minuscule effect compared to Gianluigi Buffon posting it on his social media. This is where we have the potential to gain a large following yet save substantially on costs of marketing.
In addition to this, the company has a revenue model which is sustainable in order to continue the pace of growth in the long term."
Any other comments that you would like to make for the readers?
"We are currently in private presale stage, offering attractive bonuses. You can sign up on our website fan360.io and join our success story!
Most of all, I would like to welcome the sports fans to the Fan360 community!