Thuzio starts a brand new game

After successfully launching its Executive Club in 2014 under the watchful eye of CEO Jared Augustine and co-founder Tiki Barber, Thuzio last week launched its newest chapter in a move to bring together athletes and sponsors in Thuzio 360. The platform offers over 20,000 profiles of athletes, coaches and sports personalities for “any organization or individual seeking to navigate the world of Sports Talent for appearances, endorsements, partnerships, philanthropic efforts, or media placements.” The company states that the database is designed to reach brand managers and agencies, sales professionals, media outlets, charities, event planners and more as organizations look for the perfect fit from sports talent.

Cynopsis Sports spoke with Augustine about the launch and how brands can leverage the platform to better reach consumers.

Augustine on launching Thuzio: We started the company three years ago with the mission to help the public connect with athletes. We built a marketplace to do that. What we found in our first full year of operations was that all the customers were B-to-B. In learning that, we adjusted our business to now produce what are two independent products. The first is Thuzio Executive Club, which is an event series that we produce and we feature legendary athletes in a variety of different formats and corporations buy membership to access those events in the same way they would buy season tickets to an arena, stadium or suite.

On the athlete marketplace: Alongside the launch of the Executive Club, our core business evolved into booking talent on behalf of corporations. What we learned along the way was that there was so much unknown about making good decisions to secure athletes. Pricing was not transparent in the marketplace. You didn’t always know which agent was representing which athlete. Brands didn’t know whether that athlete had worked with one of their competitors. You didn’t know, if you were a family brand, if that person was necessarily a good fit. So we started building our own internal database and included 20,000 athletes, coaches and sports personalities, tagging them from our own internal research team with over 1800 tags to represent their strengths, interests and causes that were important to them. We went on and produced an algorithm to produce a market price of what you would expect to pay for a two-hour appearance with that athlete.

On Thuzio 360: We had been using this tool internally and about four or five months ago and determined that this was an incredibly valuable asset and we opted to open it up with some search capabilities. That’s what we did when we leased it last Monday. Thuzio 360 can help brand leaders and agencies make smart decision on who to secure for an endorsement. It can help a media outlet understand who can speak on a specific topic on any given day. It can help a charity figure out who

On reception and the future: Whenever you launch a new product, you manage your expectations on how well it’s going to go. But our early feedback has been more positive and receptive than I ever could have expected. Companies that we have been speaking with for three years now are not only taking an immediate call, but asking to purchase a license in the very first demonstration. We have some ambitious goals with the platform and our ambition is to apply this same software to other verticals like movies, TV and music for brands down the road.

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