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SportsEdTV is an innovative new platform that helps people improve their sports skills. The company produces videos and blogs featuring advice from world-class coaches and athletes – many of whom are world-champions or have coached world-champions – in their chosen sports. SportsEdTV uses the Internet to provide this free video and blog content to athletes, coaches, and parents around the world.
SportsEdTV provides three things to generate revenue while they make world-class sports education accessible to everyone everywhere:
- COMMUNITY, and
- a MARKETPLACE of coaches, locations, and a collection of curated training products
The metrics of the amateur sports universe support the company's projections. According to The Aspen Institute:
- 2.5 billion people (⅓ of the world population) play sports.
- The average family in the U.S. spends $693.00 per child on sports per year, with $134 going toward lessons.
Based on this, SportsEdTV already reaches 3.5 million monthly unique visitors and over 500,000 social media followers.
It makes senses that an innovative company such as SportsEdTV would not only disrupt the business vertical they operate in but would be innovative in every aspect of their business. So when it was time to look for investment, the company looked for new technical solutions for this part of their business as well.
SportsEdTV prides themselves on democratizing the way people learn to play sports by making world-class education easily accessible for everyone. To stay congruent with this position, they looked for an investment vehicle that would allow them to democratize that process as well.
The company assumed that by opening up their investment opportunities to everyone, they would be able to use their search for backing to also help generate awareness and viewers for their sports training videos. After all, it makes sense that people who find value in SportsEdTV's programs would also find value in the company. And, based on the company's research, at least 1/3 of the people looking for innovative investments would be interested in innovative sports training and education as well.
Instead of contracting with a large investment bank and marketing their opportunities to typical large institutional investors, SportsEdTV put their offerings on StartEngine.com. StartEngine offers “Equity Crowdfunding” which it says “…lets startups and private businesses raise capital from the crowd and… allows everyday people to invest for as little as 0. Everyone can be an investor, not just VCs and private equity firms.”
StartEngine goes on to say: “Anyone, regardless of wealth, can invest in private businesses, not just the ones trading on stock exchanges, and they can do so online.” This clearly sets StartEngine apart from the traditional investment institutions we've come to expect.
Of course, StartEngine is still beholden to the same regulations, and uses the same disclaimers, we see elsewhere, such as this:
“IN MAKING AN INVESTMENT DECISION, INVESTORS MUST RELY ON THEIR OWN EXAMINATION OF THE ISSUER AND THE TERMS OF THE OFFERING, INCLUDING THE MERITS AND RISKS INVOLVED. INVESTMENTS ON STARTENGINE ARE SPECULATIVE, ILLIQUID, AND INVOLVE A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK, INCLUDING THE POSSIBLE LOSS OF YOUR ENTIRE INVESTMENT.”
What I find so fascinating, though, is not simply how the online investment company establishes itself as an outlier but how a company as innovative as SportsEdTV has woven innovation throughout their fabric, not just in their product offerings. This congruent strategy, doubling down on who they are and what makes them special, is a wonderful lesson that we can all learn from as we also look to multiply our own uniqueness's to build our brands, our businesses, and our lives.
After all, how you do anything is how you do everything.