Podcast | Popular Sports Technology Software Company

SPEAKER: M1
I’m good. How are you.
SPEAKER: M2
I really appreciate you being on the show. We have Warren Packard¬†with Thuuz. Is that it just like enthusiastic …enthusiasm.
SPEAKER: M1
You got it. That’s what we are. Warren Packard you are the CEO and the founder of this company correct. That is correct.
SPEAKER: M7
Well I appreciate you being on the positive Phil show. I cannot believe I have not downloaded your app before I actually knew who you were and what company.
SPEAKER: M2
This is basically a dream come true for people that likes to watch sports but have limited time right.
SPEAKER: M3
Yeah absolutely. Or even if you don’t have limited time you just want to maximize your entertainment value. We basically are presenting a different cut of sports by communicating the excitement level of sports events as they’re taking place so that you can basically you know tune in. You know one second my phone’s ringing. OK. So if somebody is excited about some sports event. Bazy we let you know what’s exciting in the world of sports so that you never miss an exciting moment. So whether you’re super busy and you know you just want to you know just tell me about the most exciting moments so I can tune in like a great baseball game or a no hitter going on or a basketball game that seen 27 lead changes and is going to be the most talked about game of the day. You know we make sure you know about those games at the right moment. We make sure you know how to tune in whether you’re at your house your mobile you’re out and about need a local sports bar. And then also our platform works before games so that you know what’s upcoming. And today is a perfect example of you’ve got Euro 2016 starting in about in about 40 minutes today. You’ve got the warriors against the Cavaliers this evening. You’ve got the continuation of Copa America. There’s a bunch of interesting events that are going on and so just you know if you’re you know the reason we call the news is because is enthusiastic sports you know there’s the people that really love exciting sports but they’re not tracking every moment. Thews track these moments and will get in front of you and let you know when to tune in where to tune in and why to tune in.
SPEAKER: M2
I think this is unbelievable. I mean when did you come up with this.
SPEAKER: M3
Was a little bit of desperation. I am one of those busy folks as many of us are in the desperation was that I was missing all these great sports events. But at the same time I didn’t have the time to sit in front of the television for five hours. You know jumping around trying to figure out what’s great or not. And I was like gosh you know it really seems to require a service that is tracking for you and knows your preferences knows that you like you like the NHL in the NBA but you don’t like MLS and and men’s field hockey or whatever. No disrespect them else but you know we all have our preferences and we our favorite teams. I’m from Chicago so I like my Chicago teams.
SPEAKER: M6
I live in from Wisconsin. I like my Packers. There you go.
SPEAKER: M4
Go Bears and look at me I’m wearing yellow you’re in green. You got to.
SPEAKER: M2
Get a package deal. Now I know what direction this interview will take.
SPEAKER: M3
That’s exactly. But yeah you get it right I mean you’re. You have more of an affinity for your favorite team. You don’t want to get an alert about a Chicago Bears game unless it’s an incredible game and something a mazing is happening on the other hand you would want those alerts about your Packers on frequent basis. Of course you might be tuned into those games already. But that’s the whole point is that our excitement ratings our alerts are headlining that we coupled to those they’re all tailored for you and your personal preferences. And one day I was sitting down just thinking Gosh there needs to be a service that does this and instead of just wishing that somebody would do it I grabbed a couple of my friends and said hey let’s just go do this. And so we built up the service and here we are today.
SPEAKER: M2
You are awesome. You basically came from venture capital.
SPEAKER: M1
That’s correct.
SPEAKER: M2
But you still are involved right. Or now this is it. This is this is your baby. This is what you’re growing this is your passion.
SPEAKER: M5
Yeah absolutely. This is it. You know venture capital is one of those businesses where you can’t just extricate yourself from the business in one day because you’ve made investments.
SPEAKER: M3
You have responsibilities of board seats.
SPEAKER: M5
Fortunately I was able to juggle both.
SPEAKER: M4
As I transitioned away and I you know I basically I still have a couple of board seats and a couple of responsibilities but 99 percent of my time is spent with shoes. You know I’m running the company I’m you know hiring the folks in helping out on the business front the technical front. It’s it’s you know it’s a 100 hour workweek for me and it’s a passion it’s it’s a ton of fun.
SPEAKER: M2
I think if you don’t have that passion as an entrepreneur you’re kind of going through the motions and it’s hard to build a strong company if you don’t have that passion. But I’ve seen some some huge investments in the past from you feed burner things of that nature just scrolling. I am super excited that someone like you when I say someone like you because you’ve been in the industry and now you’re taking this role as an entrepreneur. What do you do when you have 100 hours and people pulling you in there’s so many things to do. How do you manage your time right now with your family.
SPEAKER: M5
Yeah yeah that’s that’s absolutely right. So it’s it’s a challenge there’s no doubt about that.
SPEAKER: M4
And when you know I’m glad that you added in with my family because that’s an important part of my life and I don’t just pay lip service I try to be home for dinner every night and I tuck my kids in bed every night almost every night. Then you know and as much as I can. And and that’s actually established part of the culture of thews is that we’re not one of those companies where the employees stay around till 2:00 in the morning and and then kind of saunter in at 10:00 or 11:00 in the morning. It’s a little bit more traditional if you will is that you know folks depart around 6:00 o’clock and they go home and they have dinner and they do some social event or whatever they do spend time with the kids or go to a movie. And you know come in at nine o’clock it almost seems cliche you know it’s kind of 95 96 kind of operation but at the same time we’re all connected wherever we go wherever we are and so we’re working before work or working afterward we’re we’re connected to the business.
SPEAKER: M5
But at the same time it’s really important for us to spend time with friends spend time with family and have that work life balance. And it definitely is challenging because you’re pulled in so many directions and there’s so many different obligations that you have in so many different incentives but you just you do the best you can. As you know it’s like yeah you just do it and you have fun with both. And you know at the end of the day you’re hopefully you’re proud of the balance that you were able to establish for work and for life.
SPEAKER: M2
What are your obstacles now with this business. I mean yeah I mean where do you begin. You have some great partnerships right. Do you just keep building and just hopefully people are downloading the app getting involved. What’s your major challenge.
SPEAKER: M5
Yeah. Great question. And you know of course with any startup it’s it’s not just one challenge but multiple challenges. That’s what really drives us. But you know so for our business we’ve got two parts of the business. One is a direct to consumer business which is represented by our app which we have for both iOS and for Android.
SPEAKER: M2
So being loaded with it.
SPEAKER: M5
Right.
SPEAKER: M4
And the other though the major part of our business is a business to business to business business if you will. We are licensing our subjective sports data to the biggest names in sports and entertainment industry. We’ve got customers like Dish Network and charter and Comcast Fox Sports and Liberty Global over in Europe and many others. They license our data they license our game excitement ratings our headlines our notifications and we’re just now coming out with a new platform all around automated highlight reels and that will of course be launched with our partners as well. Are the folks that own the rights to show the games both during and after the event and we’re able to allow them and enable them to create completely personalized highlight reels any duration any set of plays and players and narratives and themes and perspectives and that all goes through our business to business business so we think about both those sides of the equation and the challenge really is to get the balance right. And then also work inside an industry that’s not super fast moving. So we have to pace ourselves just right. It’s definitely not a sprint it’s a marathon and we’ve got to be in it for the long run.
SPEAKER: M2
Yeah I like it. I like you I think you will do it. I mean you have to have passion and love what you do. I think this is a no brainer especially if you’re watching sports in your sports. I mean how many people throughout the world watch sports.
SPEAKER: M5
Yeah I mean it’s our estimation is that 50 percent of all individuals across the globe are sports fans either of a single team or a single league or of course of multiple teams and multiple leagues and then even beyond that there’s almost no one that doesn’t get touched by sports.
SPEAKER: M4
You know the Olympics are coming up in August. You know a lot of incremental people are drawn in the storylines the passion the emotion and of course because 50 percent of all individuals are fans. You know your friends at the very least there are are there. But we go with that 50 percent number which means you know roughly three and a half billion people are in that target zone.
SPEAKER: M2
Three billion. You have stress. I’m sure you have I guess everybody has stress. What are you doing. Are you exercising. What do you do to get. I mean how do you handle it.
SPEAKER: M5
Yeah you know exercise is a big thing. I you know as long as I’m not injured I am I’m exercising every day. And you know even if it’s just for you know 20 minutes that’s great you know no problem I don’t have to like go out and you know and be nuts and get out for an hour and of course some days I do have that kind of time.
SPEAKER: M4
And if I can combine you know exercise and the kids you know go for a bike ride or you know what or throw water balloons out with them you know that’s exercise too. So exercise is super important.
SPEAKER: M5
Being with the kids of course they’re high energy and high maintenance at the same time that’s important. And then you know watching sports you know that’s another great stress reliever. You know the stresses of them if you will and you know that’s actually one of the interesting things about news is that you know when you’re a fanatic about a certain team you do have stress about that team and in fact I’m wearing my warriors. Oh yes. You are here today because the Warriors have a big game and I certainly will say that. You know it is a bit stressful to watch your favorite team because you know you’re really you put yourself out there with them at the same at the same time. The the what is does is it points out other games and other competitions that don’t involve your favorite teams but yet are super exciting. And it’s those games which are actually really fun and entertainment and non-stressful because you don’t have a horse in the race so to speak. But yet you’re seeing something incredible in fact you know so that that makes sports less stressful and makes it more of that kind of stress relief which is a really nice compliment to those of us who also have those were fanatics and like we we don’t like it when our teams lose.
SPEAKER: M2
It can destroy my times.
SPEAKER: M5
Yeah exactly exactly. So it’s nice to have you was there to tell you hey tune into this game for a little bit. This one is can be a lot of fun right.
SPEAKER: M2
The Sharks and the penguins are in overtime. Flip over to it. I like it. So in a nutshell because I’m sure this is super complicated technology. How it it picks up on chatter on social media. How does it get all this data.
SPEAKER: M5
Yeah it great question. So certainly the social buzz is part of our algorithm for determining excitement level but actually even more important than that we we are following the play by play feed that we get from all these different games so you may have seen. You know on the sports Web sites they actually have like every play of every game. You know they’ll talk about each batter and what happened or each basketball possession and what happens and well that exists for all the different sports that exist in real time somebody has. There’s a number of services out there that provide that information. So we’ve created algorithms numerical models that model the sports excitement based on what’s actually happening on the field on the court on the race track and we combine that information that tells us like how close is it and how fast pace. What’s the novelty of this specific event and the momentum shifts we can measure that all with numbers add in the social buzz add in the context like is this the playoffs. Are these guys huge rivals. All of that’s extremely important. And then all that goes together and generates three different excitement ratings three different headlines for every game at every moment and those three different perspectives are the home team the visiting team and the neutral fan and that’s all you really need. Because as a home team fan you’re going to have a very different perspective than the visiting team fan. And yet a third perspective is that neutral fan who for instance loves MLS but you know doesn’t have a. You know again a team that’s playing that’s their favorite team. You know it’s the you know the earthquakes against the timbers and you’re from New York you know those are your teams but you’re a neutral fan. You’re a neutral fan of the MLS you want to make sure you get that notification when you know the game is 3 3 going into the seventy fifth minute and it is just super exciting. That’s what drives you into those games depending on perspective.
SPEAKER: M2
I I’m just you can take sliced bread. The invention of bread in here your have for sports. I cannot wait to use it. Literally I think I think it’s awesome. What would be the one the opportunity that you would like to see happen for your company or something that you would go home to your wife and say we close this deal.
SPEAKER: M5
Yeah that that’s that’s a great question. Well let me tell you is that when we started off going after business customers the first segment we went after were the cable companies and the satellite company so the guys like dish and Comcast and charter and liberty global and we’ve done a really good job at lining them up the next segment we went after the sports broadcasters and I mentioned Fox Sports as a great customer of ours. We just closed down another customer of ours that I can’t reveal right now. But that’s coming soon. And then the third category we’re just now going after are the leagues and so we’re in conversation with most of the leagues here in the United States and the number of leagues elsewhere around the world. And what I would say is that the big thing we’re looking forward to is closing the first deal with our first league and that is going to be imminent but that’s going to be you know the next big stage for us because that not only involves what we’re doing with the excitement ratings and headlines but also with the highlight reels which is going to be a great benefit to fans when they can actually basically be watching their own sports center. You know call it Filson or Oh I like it. Yeah it’s just you know what you care about your teams your favorite players fantasy rosters and such great experience for the sports fan.
SPEAKER: M2
I feel like trying to jump through this microphone and give you a big hug for treelike such a cool cool company. This must have you excited every single day. I I find you don’t interview a lot of cool people. We had Jim Kovach on the show. He’s with the company up in northern California. He used to play for the Atlanta Falcons. Now it’s crowd Optix he loves sporting. I have I had Jim McGrath with. Influence he was a CEO he was the lead inventor of leapfrog learning systems comes down to one thing with all these guys are successful family ambition passion love and what you’re doing and making it happen just doing it. I do appreciate you on the show today. I really do. Warren what do you have going on. Well tonight you’re watching the big game.
SPEAKER: M5
Exactly. Exactly.
SPEAKER: M2
You have two favorite football teams. We’re just them.
SPEAKER: M5
You know I do have two favorite football teams and neither of whom are as good as the Packers right now but we keep trying. I still maintain my allegiance to the Chicago Bears. I mean my allegiance to the San Francisco 49ers both in rebuilding phases I would say. I also have my allegiance to my alma mater the Stanford Cardinal and they’ve certainly been at the top of their game for a while in football and so I’m looking forward to that season so I’ll get my I think more satisfaction out of them this season from the Stanford Cardinal than I will. The Bears are 49ers but of course I keep rooting for them and through thick and thin.
SPEAKER: M2
I love it. I hope that we can hang out and watch a game together sometimes. We have Warren Packard a Silicon Valley veteran and venture capitalists who came up with the idea is while watching his favorite football teams I appreciate you being on the show and we’ll talk soon.
SPEAKER: M1
All right positive Phil. Thanks. It’s awesome talking to you. Yeah man. Take it easy. I appreciate it. All right. Take care. Bye bye bye bye.

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