AthletixNation is a sports content platform that delivers Division I college video highlights and sports applications to websites and mobile devices. They essentially make it easy for websites and media companies to add highlights and other interesting sports applications to their sites, to engage fans, drive traffic and monetize their content via sponsorships and advertising.
I met their President/CEO, Davyeon Ross, last March at the 2009 IEG Sponsorship Conference. I had a great time chatting with him and we have stayed in touch since then. I think the AthletixNation platform is very interesting, especially as it relates to local sports websites and helping them add more content, highlights and things they may not otherwise have access to. Recently, I sent Davyeon a couple questions for an interview that I thought would be interesting to post here on the blog.
1) What is the vision for Athletix Nation?
Our Vision is to make AthletixNation a resource for agencies, advertisers and publishers who want access to and the ability to associate with college sports content and interactive engaging applications.
2) What’s your background? Why did you decide to start the company?
I’m originally from Trinidad and Tobago and received a basketball scholarship to Benedictine College in KS (Go Ravens). At Benedictine I received degrees in Computer Science with minors in Math and Business while leading my team in scoring. After working a few years I went on to receive my MBA. I started off my career at Sprint in the Engineering group and was recruited to a start up boutique consulting firm. At eVergance I worked with numerous company’s nationally and internationally including T-Online (Germany), RIM/Blackberry (Canada), Sasktel (Canada), Business Objects (Canada), Siemens Medical Systems (Germany), Mattel (New York) and several others. I started AthletixNation because I wanted to combine my passions, sports and technology. It was also around the time eVergance was acquired and a perfect opportunity to capitalize on the things I had learned during my career.
3) What has surprised you most about the sports industry since you got started in it?
One of the most surprising things about the sports industry is how convoluted the rights structures are. As we continue to acquire more content and build relationships we continue to learn more about the rights. College by far is the most convoluted but I’m excited to be a part of the college sports experience.
4) What do you think the biggest opportunity is for publishers/companies to utilize your products?
Well many of our publishers have relationships with advertisers. I believe as they continue to leverage our products to enhance the online experience and supplement their existing content, there is an incredible opportunity to provide local advertisers with cutting edge engaging solutions outside the traditional banner advertising. Many of our publishers are local media outlets and these outlets have relationships with brands at the local level who are excited about being associated with their local teams.
5) What’s next for Athletix Nation?
This year we are hoping for a growth year. We have a great distribution network (over 400 publishers), access to great content and an exciting digital framework. We launched a couple apps on Facebook a month ago and we also have our bracket challenge app which I encourage everyone to play @ http://apps.facebook.com/axnbracketchallenge/. We are also heavily working on some mobile apps.
6) Video, fantasy games or mobile apps – which is going to be hotter or better utilized by sports properties this year?
Well, I think we are going to see a hybrid of all of these components. I hope to see video integrated into fantasy games being played not only on the web but also on mobile devices. Statistics show that video advertising and video usage is on the rise. AthletixNation hopes to see and be part of more integration of video into other mediums and applications to bring relevance and amazement to consumers. As it relates to sports teams, we should see better integration of video and games across the 4 screens (Mobile, TV, Jumbotron and PCs). Teams are doing a much better job learning about their audience and consumers which I believe will assist in marketing to these audiences.
7) If you had $1 million to spend on Athletix Nation right now, what would you use it for?
Two main things, I’d hire 3-5 sales executives and a few more engineers so that we could continue to innovate and sell our existing inventory. Oh, I’d also give myself a raise lol
8) How can people get in touch with you to learn more about you or your company?
I’m always accessible, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on twitter @axnpres. I’m extremely responsive and open to new concepts, new relationships and new partners.
Thanks for doing the interview, Davyeon.
I encourage any of you who may want to learn more about AthletixNation to get in touch with Davyeon and let him tell you more about what they’re doing. I’m also curious to hear what your thoughts are about his company, and I’m sure Davyeon would appreciate your thoughts and feedback, too.