In preparation for the public launch of its much-anticipated social gaming app in August, FanUp will do what it encourages its users to do: Squad Up. This week, the company announced appointment of two top-level execs and investors to its team. Taking the lead as head of business development is influencer Clinton Sparks and directing brand and media partnerships is Michael Hamilton. Between them, the powerhouse pair has broad expertise in melding esports, culture, media and entertainment. That is just the combo of skills and experience FanUp’s founders say is vital to deliver a one-of-a-kind interactive gaming experience to users.
FanUp is sports and esports betting for the social set. Users are encouraged to squad up and bet together for an immersive experience. One of the most anticipated features is its Bet of the Day, which allows users to post a video making a case for why their prop bet should be selected for that recognition. Other first-ever features include betting with friends and challenge-based contests. Users will even be able to bet with celebrity guests and compete for the MVF (Most Valuable Fan) title.
The app is emerging from its successful beta launch where it scored high with consumers, especially young professionals who are tech-accepters with a passion for gaming. Sparks and Hamilton are expected to keep FanUp at the top of its game. And both appear to be up to the task.
Sparks has had a direct hand in helping shape the multi-billion-dollar esports industry. He is, in fact, vice president of business development for FaZe Clan, the largest esports and lifestyle gaming company in the world. He has spearheaded strategic initiatives that merge esports and hip hop, attracting investments in that company from top-tier venture capital and private equity firms and musical artists such as Pitbull, Offset, Swae Lee, Yo Gotti, Ray-J and Academy Award winner DJ Paul (Three6Mafia).
Hamilton meanwhile has spent the past decade designing sports analytics and money management systems for sports betting and esports and co-founded Stats Trading Co. That business recently posted 61 percent on MLB, 59 percent on NBA and 56 percent on NFL for a net profit of 1,600 percent. He has worked with the likes of Dr. Dre, The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, Logic, Swedish House Mafia, Atlantic Records and Warner Bros.
The founders of FanUp have deep roots in sports gaming themselves. Friends and business partners for over 20 years, Tejas Bodiwala and Cary Lytle – who jokingly refer to themselves as the Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of sports betting – have worked in tech, product and business development for some of the world’s most recognizable brands.
“Clinton and Mike are widely known for their unparalleled ability to shape and influence culture. They’re exactly the talent FanUp needs to round out our business development team and reimagine the esports and sports betting experience for our customers. We couldn’t be more fired up to have them leading our brand partnerships to take us to the next level,” said Bodiwala, CEO, FanUp.
“Fads are ephemeral. We want to be a household brand and name for young professionals and social sports fans, changing the way they consume and engage with esports and sports betting,” he added. “We want to alter the calculus of fandom and redefine the sports betting ethos by ensuring fans never have to bet on or experience sports alone again.”
FanUp is the first product in the U.S. that lets fans bet together for real money. It is available for iOS in private beta and will launch in time for 2020 football. For more information about FanUp, go to fanup.app.