A sports management application with many opportunities

RIYADH: TeamUp is a startup providing sports management solutions with a tiered revenue model based on subscriptions, commissions, advertising and big data monetization.

Based in Riyadh, TeamUp was founded by CEO Abdulrahman Al-Amer, his brother Amer and their partner Khalid Khudhayr.

All three bring their strengths to the table. Abdulrahman earned no less than seven bachelor’s degrees in the United States, from neuroscience to political science, and followed that up with stints in strategic consulting and data analysis and as a swim referee at the Department of Sports. from Saudi Arabia.

CTO and CPO Amer have degrees in electrical and microelectronics engineering. He was part of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, or SABIC, undergraduate scholarship program and had a management background as the founder and CEO of a web solutions provider.

COO Khudhayr has a degree in mechanical engineering and six years of experience as an engineer at Aramco.

TeamUp was designed after Abdulrahman failed to find an app to manage sports leagues and tournaments that could track individual player stats.

Abdulrahman Al-Amer

He and his partners founded TeamUp in December 2020, with Abdulrahman himself doing much of the coding. They quickly hired a three-person development team in Amman, Jordan. They now have a staff of 24, including themselves, in Riyadh, Amman and Nairobi.

The beta version of TeamUp has been operational since June 2021 and the official launch will take place during Ramadan.

The TeamUp app focuses on football but, in theory, could be applied to any sports tournament. Its revenue model is based on multiple revenue streams.

“When a team pays an organizer to participate in a league through TeamUp, we take a commission,” Abdulrahman told Arab News.

“Secondly, schools can organize their sports tournaments with TeamUp, and there are several subscription formulas for this. For this, we have a strategic partnership with Classera, the largest learning management system in the MENA region with two million students.

“Thirdly, we can make advertising revenue from players and subscribers. But the real meat in the equation is the commission we make from scouting players for big teams. Our ecosystem will host thousands of players and many data points, such as the number of goals a player has scored, the number of followers, the number of games he has played and the number of those games where he was the best player, on the bench or injured. This information is collected with the permission of players using our app.

“From these metrics, we perform a predictive analysis of the data. We go to Al-Hilal or any other team and ask them what type of player they need, say, a defender or maybe a right-winger, and based on their needs we search our database and choose the players who match the criteria. .”

“We can give them two years of data for each player. They can’t have the same data quality and accuracy as traditional scouts, who go with pen and paper and watch a player for one or two games.

TeamUp will receive a percentage of each signed agreement. With top teams willing to pay over $5m for a player and Paris Saint-Germain paying Barcelona €222m to transfer Brazilian player Neymar in August 2017, the possible rewards are obvious.

Abdulrahman expects TeamUp to have a large enough pool of players and enough data to begin scouting activities in about 18 months.

The company has already signed contracts with the sports ministries of Saudi Arabia and Kenya, under which football teams are mandated to use TeamUp to participate in amateur tournaments. It plans to sign similar deals in several North African countries later this year, with further plans for expansion in the UK in 2023.

While 18 months is a long time to wait to generate substantial revenue, Abdulrahman counters that tech giants Google, YouTube and Twitter have all taken at least five years to become profitable.

Their business models, like TeamUp’s, depended on their ability to extract and monetize data from this user group.

TeamUp’s revenue model and management team received $800,000 in pre-seed funding from 500 Global and Sanabil Investments. Other investors are showing interest in joining the round, and TeamUp will officially announce funding once they reach $1 million.

As a sports tech company with a strong management team and a globally scalable model, TeamUp was inducted into the Startup Hall of Fame at the World Entrepreneurship Congress in Riyadh.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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