Competition aside, sports connect people across the planet. Beyond the shared experience of watching a game, there’s much more engagement that could be cultivated between fans, influencers, players, and entire leagues. That’s why Brittany Harris was inspired to co-found a sports app unlike the rest that leverages AI and machine learning to let fans chat with their sports communities about specific topics, check scores, get updates, and so much more. Read on to learn about the origin story of Brittany’s Keyhorse-backed company, RaveOn Sports.
How did you become interested in sports tech?
Technology has always been a part of my life. My dad started the largest incubator company in the region called eCorp back in the early 2000s. I love that technology is always evolving, and there is always something new happening in this space. I’m also a super fan, and my favorite thing about sports is the way it connects us. It crosses barriers of age, race, and sex. When you're cheering for the same team, you're all friends. Getting to build a company that marries two of my passions together was a no-brainer.
What inspired you to co-found a company?
There have been a lot of changes in sports and the world that have left fans feeling disconnected from each other and the teams they love. As huge sports fans, we knew that fans are looking for more ways to connect with each other around the teams they love. As sports fans, we have been constantly frustrated that none of the sports apps are engaging for fans, so we set out to build a sports app that fans would love!
...my favorite thing about sports is the way it connects us. It crosses barriers of age, race, and sex. When you're cheering for the same team, you're all friends.
Tell us about your team: Who’s on it, and how did you meet?
We have a very dynamic, hardworking team. We launched our business weeks before covid and had to figure out how to navigate starting a business over Zoom. Having a cohesive team is the reason we’ve made so much progress. James Clark is our president, and he has his masters in sports management and operations from the University of Kentucky. His knowledge has been valuable in guiding our software development. Rick Baker is our CEO/CTO. He focuses on cross-leveraging various AI and machine learning tools, and this has elevated our technology. He’s filed over twenty patents in the last fifteen years. His most recent approved patent revolutionizes how Bluetooth functions and was sold to Apple only months after its publication. He’s also better known to me as ‘Dad.’ It's been a joy getting to work with him on this project.
Where do you see sports tech headed in the near future?
There will be a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Fan engagement is down across most sports, and teams are taking notice. There is a conscious effort being made to re-engage fans. There will be a shift in sports tech to create tools that do just that. Innovative software like AI, machine learning, and even blockchain is going to become more and more important in the architecture of how those types of products and services are delivered to that maturing market—particularly in the expansion of fantasy sports, sports gambling, and the idea of gamification.
What does success look like to RaveOn in the short term and long term?
Our short-term success over this next year is in hitting the milestones we’ve set for ourselves, proving that our engagement tools and software deliver at scale to not only our users and Sportsinfluencers but our partners as well. In the long term, we plan to launch more features for our users, include video formats, and add more sports and leagues in the app so all fans can represent every team they love. During stages of development, we do focus groups with users and our Sportsfluencers, and we feel true, long-term success would have the athletes and teams being involved in part of that process. Whether it’s the WNBA, FC clubs, or Cricket leagues, we want to be problem solvers for them as well as the fans and athletes. Each sport and fanbase are unique, and we feel that it’s important when creating engagement tools for our users to approach them that way. Having teams and leagues partner with us will only help speed that process along.
Find out more about RaveOn at www.raveonsports.com. Are you a startup based in or looking to relocate to Kentucky? Keyhorse’s current quarterly investment cycle is open until September 30th! Apply now.