Two weeks ago, Bryan Habana – World Cup-winning Springbok star – announced the launch of MatchKit.co, an innovative platform that gives athletes a ground-breaking solution towards growing their commercial brands.
Habana and his team at the award-winning creative sporting agency, Retroactive, have created a mobile tech play that reinvents the way athletes – of every tier and discipline – monetise their careers in a simple and cost-effective way.
“MatchKit has connected with more than 2.1 million fans since its public launch,” Mike Sharman, co-founder of Retroactive, told TechFinancials on Wednesday.
To date, the app has had 4,800 views on its athlete MatchKits, he added.
“MatchKits has been revenue positive since the first day of launch and its fundraising component has led to $1,600 (R27, 544) being crowdfunded for charity.”
The devastating impact of the COVID-19 virus is expected to extend to economic losses on the sporting front, with an estimated $61.6 billion in missed revenue by the end of 2020.
Inevitably, it is athletes who are personally affected, as event cancellations result in pay cuts, loss of appearance-fee income, and reductions in endorsement deals.
‘’This pandemic has resulted in devastating consequences for both the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. Today, we are incredibly proud to launch MatchKit.co – a platform to help athletes make more money, regardless of the status of sporting events,’ Habana, a co-founder at Retroactive, said.
- An easy, DIY website builder that enables athletes to showcase their sporting pedigree and sponsors – live within five minutes
- It automatically integrates into existing social media channels – including TikTok – to show potential sponsors the scope and quality of an athlete’s influence
- It provides athletes a plug and play e-commerce store – letting fans purchase everything from bespoke branded merchandise to personalised video and audio shout-outs from their favourite athlete.
MatchKit handles everything from inventory management, printing, shipping and returns. In addition to handling secure payments for the athlete’s e-commerce store, MatchKit also facilitates contributions into a foundation or charity of choice.
“My team and I have used lockdown to interrogate ways to help athletes of all sporting disciplines and tiers reignite revenue-driving opportunities while waiting for the commencement of their respective leagues or competitions,’ Habana explained.
Habana believes MatchKit will give players more control over their future, an advantage he lacked during his playing days.
“As an international and professional athlete, you don’t often have a lot of time to worry about things off the field in between matches, training and a busy travelling schedule. I wasn’t the most tech-savvy player around either so I hardly ventured into the digital space. Covid-19 has shown us that the future is digital and it is exciting to be able to play a part in creating a platform that gives athletes a competitive advantage off the field.”
Sharman added: “The slowdown of physical sporting activity is inversely proportional to the uptick in social media activity. Athletes may not be able to entertain viewers in a grandstand, but all the digital world’s their stage to engage and enhance their connection with the most valuable stakeholder – the fan!”
Habana’s team went from registering the domain to launching MatchKit.co in a matter of three months and have already attracted local and international sporting icons such as Seabelo Senatla, Brandon Stone and Thembi Kgatlana. Today they are officially open for business to all athletes across all disciplines around the globe.
“Bryan is one of the most successful and commercially-minded rugby players of his generation. We tapped into his insights in order to go to market with a product that can start generating athletes an additional income within five minutes of signing up,” Sharman concluded.
Every player is now complete with a MatchKit.