Networking with Dan Bedi, Co-Founder at LSTN
Welcome to the the Sports Pundit Networking Series. The aim is to promote Sports Pundit readers and foster a greater community across the newsletter. For the second edition, I caught up sports industry networking expert, Dan Bedi, Co-Founder of the London Sports Tech Network (LSTN).
When did your journey (in the sports industry) start? And how did you get to your current role?
In 2017 I co-founded JAFA a mobile app for sports fans which allows them to debate, engage and discuss all things football with other like-minded fans.
JAFA has secured outstanding global brands in partnerships and has built the team to include tech developers, designers, footballers, sports journalists, tech entrepreneurs, social media whizzes, content writers, football bloggers, animators, videographers and a whole support network.
Obviously, founding your own business in the industry isn't the most traditional way to get in the door. But that's how I began my journey into sports. And this has since led on to co-founding LSTN, a community for members of the SportsTech and Esports industries.
Who inspired this journey? And who continues to inspire you today?
I would answer that no particular individual comes to mind. I think a variety of influences throughout my life have resonated with me and more importantly have given me the confidence and the ability to jump in at the entrepreneurial deep end.
One quote that stuck, "Either you build your own dreams, or somebody else will hire you to build theirs." I know it sounds cliche, but I continue to draw inspiration from those around me with good energy - some doing small things, some bigger, but all important to them.
Besides Sports Pundit, where do you look for insight?
Avid consumer of all knowledge where I can. SportTechie, Sports Industry, SportsTechX but more often outside the sports space - Techcrunch, business insider for newsletters. Big on podcasts, Sports - AYNE & Kickback with Nedum - non-sports - Secret Leaders, How I Built This & 20 Minute VC. Big on the audiobooks too.
What trend in the industry most excites you for the future of sports? And why? Honestly I think there are a lot of exciting things... I feel the trend towards new sports and new takes on traditional sports is exciting and what springs up to cater for those. For example, the Overtime Elite League.
The OEL is a new basketball league for 16-to-18-year-olds allowing them to earn at least $100,000 per year in addition to full health benefits, equity stake in Overtime, revenue from their Name, Image, Likeness and year-end bonuses. The league will let players bypass traditional high school and collegiate levels while building their personal brand, before becoming eligible for the NBA.
Who do you think is best positioned to take advantage?
Clubs hold a lot of cards today, but that is changing and changing rapidly. People (fans) and companies are significantly more agile, aware and aggressive in changing to suit the times. I feel a monumental shift is coming and as proved by the ESL, clubs are certainly not equipped to execute on their own. Overtime, which is traditionally viewed as a media company, is again a good example here.
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