LONDON, Aug. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Combine a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with some of the biggest names in the tech industry and you could be looking at the phenomenally lucrative future of sports. Only this time, the biggest winner may be a small Canadian startup that's got their attention. Mentioned in today's commentary includes: The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK).
Facedrive (FD.V; FDVRF), a full-scale ESG platform, has already disrupted every tech-heavy segment from ride-sharing and food delivery to COVID contact tracing. Now, it's preparing to jump into the sports arena - and it's got some major firepower behind it.
That firepower includes NFL superstar Russell Wilson and investment vehicles belonging to some of the big names in tech. Or, rather—the biggest names in tech: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai, YouTube founder Chad Hurley.
Here's how it's happening: Facedrive is acquiring an equity interest in a sports celebrity-studded company called Tally Technologies, which is looking revolutionize engagement between major sports leagues, the teams and their fans.
Tally evolved out of TraceMe, a celebrity-studded content app founded by Wilson with early-in investors from the biggest tech companies in the world. That early funding came from Bezos Expeditions, the Amazon CEO's investment vehicle, and from two other investments vehicles attached to the Alibaba and YouTube founders. TraceMe was acquired by Nike last year, but Wilson hedged his bets that Tally would be huge, so he held onto it and then went looking for the right partner to build it out. He could have chosen anyone, but he chose Facedrive, which puts the Canadian ESG tech platform on the radar of some very big names.
Now, because the transaction is a share exchange that will see Facedrive inject $1M in cash in Tally and $2M in Facedrive shares, the biggest names in the tech industry will indirectly become shareholders in one of Canada's most promising ESG tech platforms.
Overnight, it's a new business for Facedrive on multiple fronts. And it makes sense for Tally, too: Tally sees a huge opportunity for a massive gamification platform by partnering with Facedrive, and with Facedrive CEO Sayyan Navratnam on the board, they'll be getting access to lots of new technology and expertise, as well as the potential to bring on new teams and partners.
For Facedrive, it's a major new venture that serves as confirmation that it's tech ecosystem not only works, but it works for all sorts of industries.
For investors interested in both sustainability and the extraordinary growth potential of tech stocks, Facedrive is now a one stop shop for the hottest sectors in this space. And with some of the biggest names coming on board as shareholders through their investment vehicles, the sky could be the limit for this burgeoning startup.
Why Soaring Tech Is the Future of Sports
The tech-heavy NASDAQ just logged its 30th record of the year … and tech stocks are absolutely killing it. That's because tech has emerged as the future of pretty much every single industry on the planet.
That's what Facedrive has been saying since 2016, and why it's developed an entire tech ecosystem that has tentacles in a huge lineup of industry segments. Now, it's adding sports predictions to the roster in a very big way (think: NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB). And for the sports industry in the middle of a pandemic, tech could be the element that makes or breaks it.
In fact, an entire industry has emerged of its own - the "sports tech industry". Disney (DIS), for example, isn't necessarily a brand that many associate with the sports world. It is mostly known for its film and television dynasty. But thanks to its acquisition of ESPN in February 1996, it has quietly grown to become the de facto leader in sports broadcasting. This status was really drilled into place in 2019 when Disney acquired the Fox network, including Fox's massive sports umbrella.
In addition to its massive media empire, however, Disney also opened up its ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida to major league sports including the NBA and MLS. Though the COVID-19 crisis had pressed pause on major league sports, Disney is helping fans get their fix through its secure and clean sports stadiums.
Electronic Arts (EA) is another company that's been able to see positive gains and retain its customers even as traditional sports leagues were forced to postpone their seasons. That's largely thanks to its EA Sports brand. EA has been at the forefront of the sports video game niche since the 1990s, securing deals with every major sports league to utilize the team names, players and even iconic stadiums to help fans truly emerge themselves in that world.
Fans can participate in practically any sport thanks to the company's numerous titles, including the FIFA, Madden NFL, UFC, MLB, NHL, NBA, and even PGA brands. And within each video game, fans can rediscover their favorite teams and players in an entirely new way. The games often even allow gamers to manage their teams and engage in the 'business' side of things.
The game has changed, and Facedrive and Tally are in a position to pioneer what could prove to be a very popular sports app. Facedrive (FD.V; FDVRF) is essentially acquiring an interest in the future of sports, and it works like this:
Tally is a new tech platform that seeks to do what sports can no longer do on its own: deepen engagement around live events. With eSports already working to "democratize" major sporting events and make them accessible to a massive global audience, Tally is completely changing the game in a different way.
Harnessing the Real Revenue Potential
Gamification and online fan engagement are the key to sports revenue now. And Tally is the premier tech solution for increasing audience engagement during live sporting events.
Tally's technology enables sports teams, venues, and broadcasters to dramatically increase viewer engagement, which has been culled by a pandemic, create new revenue opportunities, and build direct relationships with new and existing customers.
Tally offers a complete, state-of-the-art solution supporting the creation and delivery of partner-branded, free-to-play prediction games for sports fans all around the world.
- Robust game authoring and validation
- A mobile-first app for fans
- Comprehensive analysts for partners
- A modular system with a wide range of game formats that is easy to integrate with other apps and eBay to access from multiple devices
- Built-in monetization tools with everything from leaderboard prizes, social shares, survey integration, and exclusive sponsor shout-outs to giveaways
And for the fans, that predictive experience is the key to wildly deeper engagement. Via the mobile app, fans can engage on multiple, free-to-play predictive levels.
The Tally tech platform is a natural extension to gaming and sports betting, making the growth prospects of this new Facedrive/Tally tie-up even more alluring.
Tally enables large scale 'streak' prediction prizing and can mirror traditional game by game Player props, Team props, Intermission score predictions, and Over/Under prop predictions to educate the new user to sports betting. It will activate new and dormant sports betting accounts directly from the platform driving unrivaled lead generation conversion.
And, of course, it helps that it was founded by one of the biggest names in American football--Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, and shot through with investor confidence by everyone from Bezos' investment vehicle to YouTube and Alibaba, all big names who initially invested with Wilson.
The 'Ecosystem' Blitzkrieg
If you missed Facedrive's (FD.V; FDVRF) debut of its massive ESG platform, that's no matter. The Tally acquisition could potentially be the biggest move this company has made so far, even in a string of rapid-fire acquisitions and partnerships.
When Facedrive publicly launched in 2019 with its initial ride-hailing platform that was the first to offer EVs and a carbon-neutral lift, that was simply the first salvo. Then came long-distance car-pooling to corner every mile with its acquisition of HiRide.
Then, in rapid succession, it launched its food delivery platform--Facedrive Foods--and acquired the Foodora Canada assets of wildly successful international giant Delivery Hero.
And since then, the news flow hasn't let up. It immediately established itself as one of the leaders in Canada in the COVID contact-tracing field, with the launch of TraceScan in partnership with one of the world's biggest labor unions (guaranteeing immediate deployment of this unique tech and its convenient wearables) and one of Canada's top tech institutions.
Its social distance and entertainment app, HiQ, raced to the one million downloads mark just five weeks after launching. Now it is one of the top 5 trivia apps in over 115 countries. And, now, it's jumped into the sports tech industry in one of its biggest moves yet, for a touchdown in the most lucrative arena - all with a premium that links back to the biggest names in the global tech industry. And it's only natural that it is following in the footsteps of tech giants.
Microsoft (MSFT) is a company that has heavily invested in building its own ecosystem, including in the sports realm. Microsoft has partnerships with the NHL, the PGA, NASCAR and even specific teams like Real Madrid and the Renault Sports Formula One team. Microsoft has built custom platforms for these enterprises using its Microsoft Surface technology. The tech helps reimagine and create entirely new strategies, giving teams the edge they need to stay ahead of the competition.
is another giant company with an entire ecosystem behind it. From retail to cloud services utilized by companies across the world, it's made all the right moves to secure its spot in the trillion-dollar club. And it hasn't ignored the realm of sports, either. Through its Twitch acquisition, Amazon has been able to essentially corner the esports market. And the esports boom has turned the heads of many in the traditional sports industry, as well. Already, Twitch has received the go-ahead to cover a number of major league audiences, including those from the NBA, the Premier League, the UFC and more.
These days, it's almost hard to not mention BlackRock (BLK) when talking about any new investment trend. BlackRock is already the de facto leader in the environment, sustainability, and governance (ESG) trend, and it's also a major investor in just about everything technology-related. But those are only a portion of its investments. BlackRock is also involved in the sports world in a big way. As the primary stakeholder in the iconic Sports Illustrated magazine, it's impossible not to suggest that the investment giant will not benefit from the looming comeback in traditional sports.
By. Caroline Davey
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This publication contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this publication include that the demand for ride sharing services will grow; that the Tally app will become popular and start generating substantial revenues; that the Tally app will fit with Facedrive's other brands; that the sports predictive app will lead to online sports betting; that Facedrive will be able to fund its capital requirements in the near term and long term; and that Facedrive will be able to carry out its business plans. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include that the Tally app may not become popular, may not lead to revenues from gaming and that competitors may offer better or cheaper alternatives; changing governmental laws and policies; the company's ability to obtain and retain necessary licensing in each geographical area in which it operates; the success of the company's expansion activities and whether markets justify additional expansion; the ability of the company to attract a sufficient number of drivers to meet the demands of customer riders; the ability of the company to attract drivers who have electric vehicles and hybrid cars; and the ability of Facedrive to attract providers of good and services for partnerships on terms acceptable to both parties, and on profitable terms for Facedrive; that the products co-branded by Facedrive may not be as merchantable as expected. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and we assume no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
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