[Startup Interview] PJF Schmidt, Lucas Brosi, Marcus Luer, Urs Meier, Founders, Heroes AG, Switzerland
Heroes AG is a Swiss startup that has tapped into the underdeveloped fan merchandising sector through distribution of modern and trendy lifestyle products including fan shoes, lifestyle bracelets, costume jewellery, perfume and clothing among others which are marketed directly under the names of sports, music and film stars, as well as other stars.
Heroes AG sees itself as an investment tool for investors who want to invest and profit in a rapidly growing market. This applies to the entire value chain - not only for football, but for all growing sports.
Tell us about your company
We are an innovative company that has since 2019 been rethinking merchandising and fan engagement. Our mission has been a joint development of the brand potential of our partners, through innovative lifestyle products and the development of target group activating technologies.
We are keen on the sports and entertainment industry because we believe they will continue to profit from digitalization, because media rights, data and eSports are the major growth drivers of the future.
Who founded Heroes AG and what are their professional backgrounds
The founders have a lot of experience in business building, brand building and brand renovation. They have already built companies and sold brands. Markus in particular has excellent experience in the field of sports licences in the professional sports sector. Peter is a marketing and brand specialist, especially in the area of reanimation of well-known brands.
Urs is our link to the football and sports licensing sector.
Who are the owners of Heroes AG?
15 per cent free float and the rest belongs to the founders
How is Heroes AG financed?
Equity-financed at the moment...
We have just issued a €5 million bond with an interest rate of 6 % p.a....
We have also decided on an exciting cash capital increase which is extremely attractive. We can offer the share to investors at a current price of 2.30 euros at 1.00 euros.
What would you say are the dynamics that are shaping the sports industry?
The global sports market is witnessing continuous growth and expansion. Having come a long way from being a traditional industry, it has grown to encompass an entire ecosystem comprising multiple stakeholders and various layers of engagement. Constantly evolving and expanding through innovative and cutting-edge technologies derived from diverse industries, the so-called sports tech industry is creating new opportunities for fans, clubs, players, sponsors, investors, and innovators alike.
Seven key trends currently disrupting the sports industry
Media and Broadcasting
Wearables and Performance Enhancement
The Stadium of the Future
New Sponsorship Assets
What inspired you to form Heroes AG? What opportunities did you identify?
We are convinced that 80% of all sports and entertainment fans are not emotionally reached by the sender. That's why they naturally also fail to buy services and merchandising products. Here we see a huge market with the help of modern technologies, but also with appealing new hip products and services suitable for everyday use.
What are the gaps that you seek to address?
Heroes AG has positioned itself as a frontrunner in lifestyle merchandising. How do we do that? With things that many fans didn't even know they needed. Unlike others, we control the entire value chain in merchandising. For example we are a retailer, merchandiser, consultant and producer all in one. And so we can react much faster to trends than companies where a large number of players are involved.
The MegaFan project is a central component of Heroes AG's strategy. The aim of MegaFan is to introduce and establish technologies for the marketing and distribution of original, licensed fan merchandising articles in a platform developed specifically for this purpose.
What gives Heroes AG the competitive edge?
The MegaFan brand seeks to revolutionize the interaction of fans with their favourite clubs & players (in the future also favourite artists, bands, etc.) as a unique and universal platform worldwide through services in the areas of merchandising, news, entertainment and finance. Through interactive gadgets, a dedicated payment system for shopping or betting and community-building activities, MegaFan offers comprehensive fan engagement. MegaFan will be the fan application for a digital sports experience with no limits.
Who are your customers?
Athletes and their management, associations and clubs from sport & culture, brands of all kinds, amusement parks, sports and entertainment venues
What does Heroes AG need in order to grow?
Strategic investors and visionaries who see sports fans as more than just spectators.
Currently the implementation and placement of our capital measures.
What is your growth strategy?
Evaluation and further acquisition of licences and the consistent implementation of our digitalization strategy. At the end of June, we will launch our MegafanMall and our MegafanApp will also be launched this year.
In which markets are you looking to establish your presence?
In the longer term, we want to become the most important platform for fan engagement merchandising in the sports and entertainment industry. Heroes AG wants to change the way people see merchandising and when and where they wear it. Heroes AG has been focusing on innovative fan apparel to address the needs of each target group individually. This, through the use of a vertical-commerce approach to plan, design, coordinate and produce lifestyle apparel, accessories and memorabilia.
What are your plans for the coming 12 months?
The short-term goals are to build a strong group of clubs, athletes and celebrities as our partners. We also want to produce innovative products and upsell our Megafanmall / Megafan App.
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