Sport:80 goes crowdfunding as it plans flotation on AIM

Rio prepares for the Olympics
Rio prepares for the Olympics
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​Sports management company Sport:80 is to raise funds on crowdfunding platform CrowdBnk ahead of a listing on AIM later this year.

In the run up to the Rio 2016 Olympics, Sport:80 will initially target expansion within the 35 Olympic and Paralympic sports, which the directors estimate have a market value of £720m.

The Sheffield-based firm enables sport organisations and athletes to register for regional, national and international events, book accommodation and track their sporting performance.

Its clients include the British Olympic Association, British Fencing, Archery GB, Squash South Africa, BISFed and IPC Shooting.

Sport:80’s platform allows sporting federations to monitor athlete profiles, check they have the accreditation to compete, and provides a secure gateway for payments.

The AIM flotation will coincide with new rules coming in this year that require all international sports federations to collect and retain data about athletes. Sport:80 aims to replace the existing paper-based systems that many sporting organisations still rely on with a high tech alternative.

Gary Hargraves, CEO of Sport:80, said his company’s proprietary, cloud-based platform will help “bring sport into the 21st century”.

“London 2012 was a game-changer for the British sports industry,” said Mr Hargraves.

“Never have we, as a nation, been more captivated with athletic prowess and enthralled with new and exciting sporting events. In the wake of the Olympics and Paralympics in London, people began getting involved in sporting activities showcased during the Olympics at an unparalleled rate – Great Britain was awash with new archers, rowers and swimmers.

“But many of these sporting associations still use outdated systems to handle these increasingly huge member numbers and large events, relying on paper-based systems and numerous outsourced support agencies to manage their processes.

“Sport:80 can propel these sports associations into the 21st century with one cloud-based platform capable of handling all of their administrative and management functions.”

Sport:80 is looking to raise up to £750,000 through its crowdfunding campaign and has already raised over £200,000. The funds will be used to support the roll-out of its platform within the large and untapped sports management sector.

The company said the crowdfunding will give investors the opportunity to participate in a company which is primed to support the upcoming 2016 Olympic and Paralympics in Rio.

It already works with a number of Olympic and Paralympic organisations, including the British Olympic Association, Archery GB, the International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation, Boccia International Sports Federation and the International Paralympic Committee for Shooting.

Mr Hargraves said the firm has a growth strategy to support federations and athletes in their preparation for global events.

Sport:80 said its platform can seamlessly integrate functions such as memberships, events, logistics, finance, athlete profiles and data collection. It added that its technology offers greater security, higher revenues and significantly lower costs.

“The Sport:80 platform provides a win-win for all parties. The sports federations gain access to a technology which is proven to increase revenues through higher levels of event participation and membership, athletes gain access to a centralised database covering all aspects of their participation with the sport while Sport:80 investors gain exposure to a huge untapped market, which represents an excellent opportunity to generate substantial financial rewards,” said Mr Hargraves.

“We have an established client base and defined growth strategy and this crowdfunding process will support the continued roll-out of our service as we focus on building market share and revenues.”

​​Further information can be found athttps://www.crowdbnk.com/p/sport80.​

​GARY Hargraves, who was born in Sheffield, is a former managing director of Brentford FC and commercial manager of Crystal Palace FC.

He has worked with a number of governing bodies in sport, including Archery GB, FITA (International Archery Federation), the International Association of Athletics Federations, British Cycling, Volleyball GB, British Fencing, The International Fencing Federation (FIE), The International Rowing Federation, British Pentathlon and British Canoe Union.

“We are delighted to provide investors with a unique opportunity to gain exposure to a huge untapped market that is on the verge of a major digital transformation,” he said.