Weekly Roundup: Business of Athletes, Sports, & NIL (September 23-30)
Kevin Durant has his checkbook in everything, high school participation is dropping, and alternative sports leagues raised big money this past week.
1:25 - Feel good stories
College athletes give back to the community thanks to their NIL money.
3:05 - Business of Athletes
Lebron James, Kevin Love, and Draymond Green are the newest investors in pickleball through Major League Pickleball’s 16-team expansion.
Chris Paul, Vernon Davis, and Jimmer Fredette are investing in Scout’s $2.6M seed round. The company helps users put together “investing starting packages”.
Kevin Durant and Billie Jean King are the newest investors in League One Volleyball, a new women's pro league, which has raised a $16.75 million Series A round.
Eli Manning (through his PE Firm Brand Velocity Group) has acquired uniform company SCORE. Carmelo Anthony, Nolan Arenado, DK Metcalf, and Klay Thompson are fellow athlete investors.
Abby Wambach is distancing herself from concussion company Odyssey Health as Brett Favre is reportedly its biggest investor.
Travis Kelce is investing in ZenWTR, other athlete investors include Aaron Rodgers, Richard Seymour, surfer Kelly Slater, and Tristan Thompson.
10:45 - Name, Image, and Likeness
South Carolina women’s basketball players are set to receive $25,000 during this upcoming season thanks to a team-wide NIL deal.
5-star football recruit David Stone put out on Twitter that he can’t “be bought” during his recruiting process.
13:35 - Future of Sports
InGame Sports, an Egyptian gaming and sports technology startup has secured over $1M in a pre-seed round spearheaded by Opener.
Athletes Unlimited announced a $30M funding round to continue building out their women’s first athletic leagues. Four-time Olympian Angela Ruggiero, Philadelphia 76ers owner David Blitzer, and Kevin Durant's 35V are investors.
Karate Combat, a prominent full-contact martial arts league, announced the decision to form a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to transition its governance to fans and athletes.
The American Cornhole League (ACL) is one of the fastest-growing sports leagues in the world (challenging even pickleball). They have announced a strategic multi-year partnership with Legends agency.
SIQ Basketball raised an additional $3M from 16 new investors. They make the world’s first smart basketball and are used by Overtime Elite.
This is wild:
High school sports in the United States with the most participants (and YoY change).
Participation is down among the 10 most popular boys and girls high school sports compared to the last full pre-pandemic school year.
Boys golf and girls volleyball are the only increases.
This chart doesn’t include Esports — but that is definitely growing as well.
Short Passage of The Week:
We rob ourselves of joy because of the storylines we create around our painful challenges in life, be they physical, financial, mental, emotional, or spiritual.
As we walk through the growth experiences of life's discomfort, we realize joy is right there in the midst of it all.
Passage by The Daily Coach
Thanks to the 50+ people who have sent emails regarding business ideas in pickleball after my post on Friday.
It has garnered a ton of buzz and I am currently sorting through them to see if there are any opportunities that can benefit us all.
Figuring out what to message “busy” people is tough. This is a good breakdown.
Make it easy for people to say yes!
Want to start a company? Having trouble raising money from investors? You need to refine your pitch deck — here’s how:
Alex Macdonald has raised $40M+ for his own companies and invested in 20+ startups as an angel…here’s his advice:
Keep it short
Your goal with the deck is to secure a call with the investor. It is not to answer every question about your business.
You should create intrigue with a 10,000 foot view rather than exhaustion with every detail of the business. At the early stages, anything longer than 12-13 slides is overkill.
Use a designer
Investing in a deck designer is probably one of the highest-leverage investments you can make at the early stage.
Your deck is the first impression of your business and ensuring it is well designed will lead to a much higher conversion of investor discussions.
This is your most important slide at the earliest stage. Focus on the core team members (rather than advisors) and their track records.
What have they built and achieved? What makes them the perfect fit for this business and market?
This can vary by company, but I think at the earliest stages all decks need to answer these questions:
What is the problem you’re trying to solve?
How are you solving it? (product)
How big is the market?
Why now? (market trends)
What is your planned business model?
Why is this the right team to win?
What have you achieved so far? (traction)
How much are you raising? What will it be spent on? What milestones will you hit with this raise?
How can investors contact you to be a part of the raise?
Give a range & no valuation
Do not give a specific number for your raise. Give a range (eg $750k-1m).
This gives you more flexibility as you proceed with the funding process. It also means you are less likely to exclude investors based on the ticket size they can write.
Do not put a valuation in your deck if you are going for a priced round, the investors will decide the valuation.
“Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success” - Napoleon Hill
Thanks for tuning in today! We’ll chat again on Wednesday.
S/O to Cole Peterson for having me at the Indiana game.
Sold out crowd of 30,000 people and we had field passes for the entire game. Unbelievable experience — not much beats college football.
One more thing…
Nate Steis from the Western PA Sports Blog wrote a fantastic article along with the podcast we did this past week.
Check it out here: