Andreas Kitzing and Béla J. Anda, co-founders of Sponsoo, are passionate athletes. As a student, Kitzing worked at HSV part-time and got to know the social aspects of a sports club. Although HSV may not want for sponsors, up and coming young athletes have to stir up attention and get possible financers interested in them. This is exactly where Sponsoo steps in.
Many interesting kinds of sponsoring
Athletes, all kinds of sports, associations and clubs across Germany have set up online platforms to attract sponsors. On offer are perimeter ads, jersey sponsoring and placing ads in the club’s magazine. Sponsoo uses sample contracts to help sponsors, suggests where to place the logo, orders jerseys and launches sponsoring campaigns. Kitzing said: “There are many interesting possibilities of sponsoring in broadband sports, but they require great effort. Sponsoo helps decision-makers in marketing to identify interesting athletes and sports and to sponsor them without too much effort.” When a deal is signed, Sponsoo earns a percentage of the sponsoring sum. The start-up also generates income by mediating jerseys.
Support for entrepreneurship
Kitzing, 30, tried out another idea for a start-up as a student. In retrospect, he said: “It just did not work in the end because we simply did not know how to turn our cool idea into a successful business model.” But when he embarked on his MBA course in Cambridge, he soon became impressed by the huge university support offered to would-be entrepreneurs. Commenting on his stint there, Kitzing noted: “There were courses on founding and a big community of people who helped each other.” Meanwhile, Hamburg has become far friendlier to founders. There are points of contact such as the TUHH’s Startup Dock and students across Hamburg’s universities and colleges can turn to them for advice on how to become a founder and start their own businesses.
SpeedUP! and BETAPITCH Hamburg
Kitzing and Anda founded Sponsoo in August 2014 and their webpage went online the following January. SPEEDUP!, an EU-backed accelerator, offered the duo EUR 5,000 per month in the initial six months which helped them flourish. Another EUR 50,000 in funds is due to follow shortly now that Sponsoo has qualified as one of the best start-ups in the programme. Six months free of rent also saw BETAPITCH Hamburg come aboard in July 2015. The co-working space on offer at betahaus provides open, digital, networked, collaborative and flexible workplaces, which also serve as incubator platforms for networking, innovation and production.
Bringing about change with Sponsoo
Growth not profit is Sponsoo’s top priority for the moment. Kitzing stressed. “All our income is pure investment in the start-up. Growth is our top goal.” At present, the firm employs five full-time staff and aims to hire three more employees in sales, marketing and development. Kitzing has high hopes for Sponsoo and noted: “We have one athlete from Syria who is achieving first international success as a professional athlete and we are trying to put him into contact with exclusive sponsors.” Earning a few extra EUR 1,000 makes a huge difference to a sports club “as it makes it easier for many people to do sports and at favourable conditions – that’s fantastic”.
The following articles in the series have already been published:
Part 1: Start-ups in Hamburg coming up with uses for virtual reality
Part 2: Startup Dock: Hamburg needs a pay it forward culture
Part 3: bentekk planning new version of measuring instrument
Part 4: Hamburg’s DailyDress start-up develops individualised fashion app
Part 5: Premiere in Germany: Fintech Week comes to Hamburg
Part 6: Hamburg-based start-up develops Foodguide app
Part 7: Synergeticon connects factory workers and machines