Tony Hsieh’s company Zappos, the online shoe and clothing shop, is fueling a startup movement in Las Vegas that’s hard to rival anywhere else. Hsieh himself is dumping millions into the Las Vegas tech scene. He’s also very supportive of Zappos employees who have left his company to start their own startups in Las Vegas. One of those startups is Fandeavor.
Fandeavor is a new startup in Las Vegas that’s looking to match sports fans with over the top fan experiences that can’t be experienced any other way.
8newsnow reports that last November Fandeavor’s co-founders Tom Ellingson and Dean Curtis, who both used to work at Zappos, did a fan experiment. They were able to procure two sets of tickets to the Las Vegas Invitational basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena. Two fans paid $250 for the experience to see the Rebels beat the University of Southern California in the semi-finals. The other two fans paid $275 to see the rebels defeat UNC in the finals. Their seats were in an arena suite. They also received a pregame talk with an assistant UNLV coach, floor access to pre-game warm ups and a presentation at halftime on the floor with autographed basketballs.
At an August 5th soccer match between Real Madrid and Santos Laguna Fandeavor auctioned off a prize packaged for $575 which included on field, hospitality tent seats, free food and drink and an off-chance meeting with one of the players. They’ve also been able to put together packages for fans of professional bullriders and other UNLV games.
Currently the Fandeavor roster includes: UNLV, University of Southern California, Arizona State University, and Texas Christian University. Both Ellingson and Curtis have plans to continue to expand through the world of college sports, who are known for their passionate fans.
“We want to give the colleges a revenue stream that didn’t exist before,” Ellingson told 8newsnow. “They have assets that they may not be using up, like sideline passes. We want to help them monetize their hospitality assets.
Ellingson Continued: “One thing we want to do is give out stadium tours, which is something that doesn’t cost the university anything other than to have someone give the tour. We’d like to have the ability to get a fan into a press box when the announcers are going through their pre-game routines. We’d like them to have access to the locker room and weight room. These stadiums are shrines.”
The duo is also courting the NFL, NBA and Nascar. Like most of the other Zappos alumni, Fandeavor has raised $525,000 in financing including an investment from Hsieh himself. They plan on using the cash to help with expansion and marketing.
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