The startup is still in its seed round of fundraising after it was officially launched in 2015 by cofounders Evan Brandoff and Zubin Teherani. The pair met during a training camp for Venture for America and realized their shared love of volunteering with youth sports leagues.
A company was born: The tech startup matches youth sports leagues across the country with brands that will sponsor the teams. In turn, the sponsors gain exposure and potential clients, and can track relevant metrics provided by LeagueSide. Sponsors include local and national brands like Cigna, Verizon Fios, Uber and The Franklin Institute.
Brandoff and Teherani moved to Philadelphia after they visited during a Venture for America stint. The company initially worked in coworking spaces across the city, but recently obtained its own space at 24th and Walnut.
“It’s going to allow us to grow and will fit some of the company culture we’ve set up,” Brandoff said.
That includes making space for weekly “highs and lows” meetings, passing a football to the “player of the week,” and yes, covering some of the walls in turf.
The company is also in the midst of fundraising a few million dollars — the cofounders didn’t share specific numbers, though SEC filings total more than $1.56 million raised so far — which it hopes to use to grow its team and invest in more marketing channels, Brandoff said. The team is currently made up of 17 people, founders hope to grow to around 25 by the end of the year.
One of its Philly-area clients, Martin Law, has been using LeagueSide’s services for nearly three years, said Ashley Scarpone, the law firm’s marketing director. A partner at the firm was looking for a way to get involved in Little League programs in the area, and her assistant found LeagueSide in the fall of 2016.
“It seemed like the easiest way to sponsor multiple Little Leagues while also being able to determine whether or not the sponsorship was working,” she said. “We wouldn’t have a way of quantifying it otherwise but LeagueSide does the research and gives us the surveys after.”
The data they got showed higher brand awareness among the parents and other adults at the game and received a few clients who learned about the law firm at a game.
Brandoff said he’s excited to continue growing the company in Philadelphia, where there’s a wealth of CEOs, investors and advisors to consult and draw inspiration from.
“Philly’s tech ecosystem isn’t the largest, but we love that everyone makes themselves accessible,” he said.
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