VICI Sports: Reinventing the Viewing Experience
Anyone who’s been to a football or baseball game will say that the experience far surpasses that of watching a game at home. VICI Sports, a startup founded by former management consultant Adam Jones, aims to close the gap between the in-stadium and out-of-stadium experiences by bringing nearby fans of certain teams together. I recently had the opportunity to interview Adam, and I learned more about what VICI does and how it is implementing technology in an effort to reach more potential customers and sponsors.
VICI CEO Adam Jones
VICI Sport’s aims to re-bundle the stadium experience for at-home sports viewers by bringing sports fans together and offering the types of rewards and giveaways one might find at a large sporting arena. VICI provides its services on the App Store and its website, playvici.com, and has developed a TV-based product. Through these applications, VICI organizes fan meetups and online competitions. VICI also partners with bars in order to organize fan meetups and provide prizes and rewards like free beer and merchandise. Currently, VICI is mainly targeting New York City, though it is raising $500,000 in an effort to expand to other cities. Over the course of the World Cup, VICI expects to amass over 50,000 hours of fan attention, and it’s just getting started.
Since VICI provides its services to fans free of charge, it must find sponsors to earn revenue. VICI’s first major sponsor is an up-and-coming blockchain company which recently raised $20 million in an initial coin offering (ICO). The company could be instrumental in helping integrate cryptocurrency into VICI’s operations. Unlike many companies, which develop a cryptocurrency for transactions in their infancy, VICI is hoping to develop a sustainable business model before delving into the world of crypto. When it does, it could provide an important boost to the growing company.
In addition to cryptocurrency, VICI is being implemented into the Internet of Things (IoT). With this technology, data gathered on mobile devices can be centralized for TV usage. In addition, a lot of back-end development is taking place on the cloud. The interconnected phones, computers, televisions, and the cloud form an IoT, which can be shared with a sports venue.
Despite being such an innovative idea, VICI has competitors. The biggest competitor is Facebook, especially with its live video streaming and event features. The other big competitors are online gambling services. Due to a recent Supreme Court ruling, sports gambling has expanded outside of Las Vegas, and the online sports gambling market has grown. However, VICI views this as an opportunity to bring gambling services on as sponsors, so they aren’t nearly the competitors they may appear to be.
At the end of my interview with Adam Jones, I asked if there was anything else he wanted to share with our readers. First, he wanted to emphasize that technology in sports is a relatively nascent concept. At-home sports viewership has been late to the game when it comes to mobile applications and websites, but VICI sports aims to change this. Second, he wanted to emphasize the role that cryptocurrency will play in tech companies in the near future, and Adam says he is always looking for new crypto material.
Written by Jack Vasquez, Edited by Alexander Fleiss
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