Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. Starting his career in technology journalism as an editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited a number of technical and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.
OpenSponsorship (OS), a sports marketing technology startup based in New York by British entrepreneur Ishwin Jolie, has received a seven-figure investment from Serena Ventures to help businesses expand in the UK.
OpenSponsorship has partnered with athletes with companies such as Walmart, Foot Locker and Levi’s, launched in the US in 2015 after Ishwin, then a sports agent, realized and then was disappointed with the blunt and restrictive way athletes could to access brands for sponsorship. The OpenSponsorship technical platform allows athletes to register for free and apply for branded companies to work with them. Brands pay a subscription fee that works for them, and by the end of 2021, the business had conducted more than 10,000 deals with 400 brands, reaching $ 5 million in revenue.
Investments from Serena Ventures are the latest round of funding received by Ishvin and her team from prominent figures in the sport with other investors, including David Blitzer, NBA franchise owner Philadelphia 76ers and co-owner of the Premier League football team, Crystal Palace.
Serena Williams, managing partner of Serena Ventures, said: “Brand sponsorship is vital to an athlete’s career, and OpenSponsorship gives them more control and ownership over the process. But it’s also something that business benefits from, ”said Serena Williams, managing partner at Serena Ventures. “I like the fact that this platform puts the support of athletes at the heart of their business, and I’m proud to have been part of their path as an investor.”
OpenSponsorship will use funding for a wide range of growth strategies, but sees the UK market as the main focus for expansion. To help run the business and attract new athletes and brands to the UK platform, OS has hired Charlie Turner, a former GB floating team and co-founder of the award-winning plant protein brand Neat Nutrition, as the UK leader.
Ishwin Jolie, founder and CEO of OpenSponsorship, said: “Since launch we have been fortunate to receive investment from some of the most iconic names in the US sports industry, and when Serena is at the heart of this investment Serena Ventures, we couldn’t be more excited. Supporting those who understand the sports and marketing industry first hand tells us that we are building something special. The UK market has grown in recent years, and as more brands and athletes in the UK become more aware of the benefits of the simplified sponsorship process, we are excited to be there to welcome them on our platform. ”
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https://www.marketingtechnews.net/news/2022/apr/20/serena-williams-venture-fund-invests-seven-figures-in-british-martech-platform/ Serena Williams Venture Fund invests seven figures in British platform Martech