With 3.2 billion viewers of the 2014 FIFA World Cup final, and even more expected this year, the quadrennial tournament opens up an immense customer pool for companies targeting football fans. And viewers won’t just be watching on TV, millions of people around the world will be streaming games or consuming match analysis and behind the scenes scoop through more disruptive media. Fans who live and breathe football want an immersive World Cup experience, providing an unmissable opportunity for companies offering new ways of engaging and connecting with fellow supporters.
There are many multinational consumer companies looking to make the most of their huge brand reach during the tournament, but what about some of the UK startups looking to hit the big time? We’ve highlighted some of the UK’s high-growth companies looking to drive fan engagement through the stadium roof and reach huge audiences this World Cup.
Media and content
Dugout provides a range of digital media content for football fans in a single, searchable platform. It is currently running a special World Cup series, with focused ‘boxsets’ on stories, moments, superstars and fans. They also provide exclusive content based on specific clubs and leagues, and popular players. The company was registered in 2016, and secured £8.28m in fundraising from undisclosed investors in April 2018, taking their pre-money valuation to £55.8m. Its shareholders include a number of major clubs, including Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, Manchester City FC and FC Bayern Munich.
Copa90 Media is an independent digital media production company with a football focus, which has secured a massive £24.1m over the past eight years. They provide behind the scenes, fan led content across various social media channels, and are churning out a steady stream of videos during the World Cup. Copa90 have a number of shows and also feature creators and a collective of publishers who are shaping football culture. Their latest pre-money valuation in 2017 stood at £48m.
Football Whispers operate a website that ranks rumours that are circulating about potential football player transfers to provide accurate predictions, along with other up-to-the-minute content and analysis. During the World Cup, Football Whispers have provided in-depth profiles on each of the teams, including team record, stats, and “persona”, a radar graph which characterises the teams stylistically. They have secured £2.16m in fundraisings from undisclosed investors over three rounds, the latest of which took place in March 2018 for £1.26m.
Betting and social
Founded in 2012, CrowdScores is a mobile app that provides live football stats through crowdsourcing. It aims to deliver football data faster, make it more readily available, and provide coverage of more games than other channels with a focus on the community of fans using the platform. Through 6 fundraising rounds, CrowdScores have achieved £5.38m of investment from undisclosed investors.
Football Index is a betting app through which users can “invest” in individual players and earn profit through changes in footballer prices, their media rankings and matchday rankings. The platform puts an interesting twist on traditional betting aimes at those fans who immerse themselves in all the latest football news. Registered in 2013, the company has raised £3.41m, the latest installment of which was in March of this year when their pre-money valuation hit £7.29m.
Kwiff is a mobile betting app that, using an algorithm, offers the chance for user’s bets to get randomly supercharged, or “kwiffed”, to increase the odds. Kwiff was founded in 2015 and has since secured a massive £37.2m from undisclosed investors, making it one of the top sporting related high-growth companies in the UK.
The £15.4m they raised in April 2018 will be put towards marketing strategy and brand awareness campaigns, projects that have previously cost them a red card, when their 2017 television advert was banned by the ASA for inaccurate example odds.
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