The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer
Rahul Sood, “Betting on Esports”

Rahul Sood, “Betting on Esports”

July 27, 2020

Rahul Sood, founded VoodooPC, straight out of High School on his credit card and turned it into a global brand before selling it to HP. Next stop was launching Microsoft Ventures which lead to connecting with his now partner Karl Flores to start “Unikrn”, the largest Esports betting platform in the world.  Great deep dive into Rahul’s world, his passion for Gaming and Esports and why Unikrn will become the next Unicorn by building the future of digital gambling.  


Key Highlights

  1. Voodoo PC, from a passion project started in a garage to a global brand (now HP Omen brand)
  2. Microsoft Ventures Fund – starting a venture found from scratch, building accelerators to connect start ups to Microsoft customers, leading to a valuation of over US$ 4 billion by the time he left
  3. Unikrn – how it all started with his buddy Karl Flores, raising funds, bringing in high profile investors
  4. Uni-coin ICO and reasons for launching it and the compliance behind it
  5. What is Unikrn and how did the idea come about – from betting on yourself to betting on major Esports tournaments  
    • Goal was to be the biggest bookmaker in Esports  
  6. UMode – bet on yourself – how it works and only on Unikrn
  7. Going from 2 countries to 40 and the challenges which come with it, different betting formats and trends globally
  8. The opportunities and challenges because of the pandemic
  9. How Games are priced, driven by AI bots – 2-3 years ahead of others  
  10. From live in-game betting, different handicaps, special betting options unique to each game
  11. Challenge is localization, currently 4 languages and customization to local betting behaviour
  12. Business still churning money, large overheads, big team, still in building mode
  13. Building the future of Digital gambling - challenge with Investors who don’t understand the business
  14. Unikrn’s connection to the E-gaming ecosystem, from Publishers, Teams, Streamers, Influencers to streaming platforms (affiliate programs)
  15. Virtual Horse-racing, from breeding them to racing and winning price money
  16. Learnings, success and failures as an Entrepreneur and from his time at Microsoft - Focus on your passion and adapt to change as quickly as you can
  17. Interplay between traditional sports & Esports after Covid – the future of entertainment

 

About

Rahul Sood is the co-founder of Unikrn, a global Esports entertainment and sports betting platform built on cutting edge blockchain and gaming technologies.

Previous to Unikrn, Sood created the first incubation fund for startups at Microsoft, and eventually he consolidated their global startup activities and launched Microsoft Ventures.

A serial entrepreneur, Sood spent 18 years in multiple startups prior to joining Microsoft. He founded luxury and gaming computer manufacturer VoodooPC, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard. Sood is an early shareholder and advisor to Maingear, Razer, ZED, and Vrvana which was recently acquired by Apple.

Unikrn’s mission as a global esports entertainment platform is to heighten the experience of watching and participating in esports. Unikrn uses blockchain technology to optimize the payment flow for customers while allowing them to bet using the currency of their choice on a full array of Esports and Video Game offerings.

Unikrn is venture backed with investors such as Ashton Kutcher, Mark Cuban, Liz Murdoch, Shari Redstone, and many others. Unikrn built an end to end betting platform that can be licensed by commercial operators, and they have opened their doors to multiple international markets. Unikrn has been featured on Forbes, Fortune, ESPN, CNBC and countless publications around the world.

Sood is active in the startup community, helping and mentoring a variety of startups. In his spare time, Sood enjoys wake surfing & wake boarding, standup paddle boarding, cycling, racing cars and spending time with his family. He lives in Seattle, you can find him on Twitter @rahulsood. You can find Unikrn on Twitter @unikrnco.

 

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If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Sports Entrepreneurs Mastermind (SEM) sessions too.

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The SEM sessions are an extension of the SEP series, where we bring experts from around the world together for 1.5-2 hours of brainstorming, learning, discussion and connecting.  It’s a live online round table format, moderated by Marcus Luer which includes a short presentation by him to set up the topic of the session and then the members will discuss, share their thoughts, ask questions and debate the topic.  The direction of the discussion is truly influenced by the participants of the given session.  It’s a fascinating learning experience for everyone involved. Come join us for future sessions by getting on our mailing list.  Please register HERE

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Patrick Sweeney, Fear Guru

Patrick Sweeney, Fear Guru

July 17, 2020

Patrick Sweeney’s, fellow YPOer, recent best selling book “Fear is Fuel” and his life experiences are perfect for the current state and level of “Fear” globally.  We take a deep dive into Patrick’s sports career, his entrepreneurial success and off course the “brick” that hit him when he was 35 years old and changed his life.  The Patrick Sweeney 2.0 version is a very different man on a mission.  Incredible stories and learning inside.


Key Highlights

  1. His early days as the “wimpy kid”, turned world-class rowing champion touring the world and the dream of winning an “Olympic Medal”
  2. “Could have been” an Olympic Champion and “could have been” a Billionaire if not for decisions out of fear
  3. Life either happens “to you” or “by you” depends on your mindset
  4. Transition to Entrepreneur – goal 40 by 40
  5. Fear of failure and fear of success, what worked and what didn’t as an entrepreneur
  6. First company and mistakes which cost him dearly, company now worth US$ 3 billion
  7. Second company and fears continue
  8. And then came the brick-  diagnosed with rare Leukemia at the age of 35 and 15 years later
  9. Overcoming the disease and fear
  10. Sweeney 2.0 version – first took up flying lessons and then conquered the world
  11. Now adventure racing around the world
  12. Wrote the book as a guide on how to overcome Fear without having to go through his life-threatening experiences
  13. Mentoring CEOs, Masterclass and TED Talk keynote speaker
  14. How companies can learn from it in the current environment & get in touch with him
  15. Final thoughts on how to use “Fear as Fuel”

 

About

Inc. Magazine called Patrick one of the most interesting men alive, but he considers himself ordinary and able to do things anyone can learn if they understand how to use fear as fuel. He inspires audiences with the neuroscience of fear & how it can be a competitive advantage. He shows why we need to find more fear in our life, and it's fascinating!

In 2018 Patrick won the world's toughest bicycle race – the Race Across America almost 20 years after he finished 2nd place in the Olympic rowing trials, he's founded four tech companies while creating eight patents and raising almost $50 million. Patrick has leveraged fear as fuel for peak performance and to create an inspiring life of passion, happiness and fulfillment. The son of Irish immigrants he was the first to go to college in his family and ever since has refused to accept upper limits set by family, friends or society. He teaches audience how to break through their limits.

Some fears you can face head on, and some show up unexpectedly to shake you to your core. When Patrick was told he had Leukemia, he, again, faced fear head on and learned the biggest life secrets to success.

When he realized the power of fear to fuel amazing feats in all aspects of life he began interviewing the world's top neuroscientists and psychologist for his book Fear is Fuel. He found out why and how our mind locks us in anxiety-ridden prison or leads us to the life of our dreams. His mission is to share those secrets with millions of people.

As a winner in sports and a winner in business he is committed to leveraging those fear lessons on himself and channel them into setting world records by being the first person to attempt cycling the Seven Summits. Patrick has been happily married (to the same woman) for 20 years (yes, she's a saint) and has three teenage children. He splits time between Boston Ma, Chamonix, France and Seat 21D.

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If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Sports Entrepreneurs Mastermind (SEM) sessions too.

-----------------------------------------------
The SEM sessions are an extension of the SEP series, where we bring experts from around the world together for 1.5-2 hours of brainstorming, learning, discussion and connecting.  It’s a live online round table format, moderated by Marcus Luer which includes a short presentation by him to set up the topic of the session and then the members will discuss, share their thoughts, ask questions and debate the topic.  The direction of the discussion is truly influenced by the participants of the given session.  It’s a fascinating learning experience for everyone involved. Come join us for future sessions by getting on our mailing list.  Please register HERE

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Website: https://marcusluer.com

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https://marcusluer.com/mastermind
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Stacey Allaster, World Leader in Tennis

Stacey Allaster, World Leader in Tennis

July 10, 2020

Stacey is and has been truly a world leader in Tennis for 30 years, I call her the “First Lady of Tennis” but she felt that this should be reserved for a player like Serena Williams. That gives you a great sense of her character, always there to serve the game first and not out to take credit for the amazing work she has done over three decades. Enjoy the deep dive into the rise of the WTA Tour under her leadership, how she learned from David Stern’s playbook and hear how she is planning to host the US Open in August this year.  Very timely discussion on so many levels and excited to finally have a female voice on the Podcast.  

 

Key Highlights

  1. How she got started in tennis, as an 8th grader in summer camp
  2. Her purpose in life, generate the funds to bring Kids into the sport and create a career path
  3. More than 50% of Female leaders have played competitive sports, so it’s a great foundation for the future
  4. 15 years at Tennis Canada
  5. WTA Tour stories – billions of new revenue during her era
  6. Opening an office in China (NBA playbook), expanding across Asia and other new markets, expansion of the WTA Tour Final
  7. Price money grew by 100%  (cash is oxygen for sports), PERFORM media rights deal
  8. Players come in cycles and build on the previous generation achievements
  9. USTA – US Open will happen Aug 31 – Sept 13 (as of today) & lead up events
  10. Decision process to go ahead, where to host it (remaining in NYC), working with Governor and US government
  11. 80% of players are from around the world, major logistics to get athletes in and out of the country
  12. Risk mitigation through tests, screening and other measures – Covid is real and need to take serious
  13. Normally 850,000 fans on-site, single largest annual sporting event in the world – this time NO FANS
  14. Learning from others who have launched live events, Bundesliga, etc and creating new ideas
  15. Her final thoughts on sports in the next 30 years – need to be externally focused beyond the sport itself

 

About

Stacey Allaster is the Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, with the United States Tennis Association (USTA). In this role, Allaster is tasked with setting the strategic vision for the USTA’s pro tennis division – including oversight of the US Open, Emirates Airline US Open Series, Davis Cup, Fed Cup and more – and working closely with the USTA board of directors and the USTA pro tennis staff to ensure the continued viability of professional tennis in the United States.

Allaster was born in Windsor, Ontario and started playing tennis at the age of 12.

After graduating from University, she worked for the Ontario Tennis Association as membership sales co-ordinator and director of player development.

She became the Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Tournament Director of the Rogers Cup. In 2006, she was appointed as the President of Women's Tennis Association, a newly created role in the organization.

In July 2009, Allaster was promoted to be the chairman and CEO of the WTA Tour, succeeding Larry Scott.

While serving as the CEO, the WTA secured one billion dollars in diversified contracted revenues, which included the partnership with an international media group (Perform).

Allaster holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Physical Education from the University of Western Ontario where she also received a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.) and has an MBA from the Ivey School of Business.

Allaster was also recently appointed to the Devos Sport Business Management Program Board of Advisors.

 

-----------------------------------------------
If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Sports Entrepreneurs Mastermind (SEM) sessions too.

-----------------------------------------------
The SEM sessions are an extension of the SEP series, where we bring experts from around the world together for 1.5-2 hours of brainstorming, learning, discussion and connecting.  It’s a live online round table format, moderated by Marcus Luer which includes a short presentation by him to set up the topic of the session and then the members will discuss, share their thoughts, ask questions and debate the topic.  The direction of the discussion is truly influenced by the participants of the given session.  It’s a fascinating learning experience for everyone involved. Come join us for future sessions by getting on our mailing list.  Please register HERE

-----------------------------------------------
Follow us on our social sites for the latest updates
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Website: https://marcusluer.com

https://marcusluer.com
https://marcusluer.com/mastermind
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Papa Massata Diack, African Sports Entrepreneur

Papa Massata Diack, African Sports Entrepreneur

July 4, 2020

Papa Massata Diack is a true African Sports Entrepreneur from Senegal and has been involved in some of the biggest events and deals across the world of sports. He is no stranger to controversies and in this Podcast you will hear “his” side of the story.  Listen and then you decide what you think happened in those IAAF corridors. Plus some great insights into the world of African sports. Enjoy.

 

Key Highlights

  1. His early days at ISL Marketing, projects in Qatar, South Africa across Football, Athletics, etc
  2. Starting Pamodzi Sports Marketing & Consulting in 1997 with offices in South Africa, Togo, Senegal, etc
  3. Getting involved in IAAF after ISL’s bankruptcy and Dentsu’s take over of the contract
  4. Involved in Football projects across Africa
  5. Appointed as IAAF consultant across 9 Emerging Markets via AMS (China, India, Middle East, Africa, Mexico, etc) bringing in over US$ 200 mil in revenue from big emerging market companies (Samsung, Sinopec, etc)
  6. Where it all went wrong with Russia in 2013 – Daily Mail report
  7. Transferring money got him into trouble
  8. British Press using the Russian Doping story to tarnish his father’s leadership (Liam Diack) and pushing Sebastian Coe as the new IAAF President
  9. Sports politics and geo political issues being used for the IAAF Presidential election
  10. Current law-suit filed by WADA against his father and himself to investigate sports marketing contracts.  Scaring off sponsors and host venues
  11. British and German media attacks
  12. His experience as an African Entrepreneur in the world of sports, inspired by Nelson Mandela and thoughts on racial tension
  13. The future of Sports Marketing on the African Continent – upcoming sports and regional blocks
    1. Senegal hosting the Youth Olympics in 2022
    2. NBA African League
    3. Martial Arts, Cycling Tours, etc
  14. Esports & Egaming in Africa growing with infrastructure improving

 

About

With more than 25 years of experience in the sports world, Papa Massata DIACK acquired a solid mastery of Public Relations, Event Management,
Marketing, strategic development and management of major projects. A true professional, Papa Massata puts his expertise at the service of sports institutions and community as part of his advisory activities. Since 1997, PAMODZI Sports Marketing & Consulting's Mission has been to be a leader in African sports marketing.

Sold over USD 678 million worth of contracts in Athletics and Football.

Involved in organization of 8 African Cup of Nations, 7 African Athletics Championships, 8 IAAF Invitational Meetings in Nairobi, Dakar, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Abidjan, Doha, Ponce, Belém and Kingston. Worked on 7 IAAF World Championships ( Stuttgart, Gothenburg, Osaka, Berlin, Daegu, Moscow and Beijing) and 2 World Cup in Athletics (Havana and Johannesburg).
-----------------------------------------------
If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Sports Entrepreneurs Mastermind (SEM) sessions too.

The SEM sessions are an extension of the SEP series, where we bring experts from around the world together for 1.5-2 hours of brainstorming, learning, discussion and connecting.  It’s a live online round table format, moderated by Marcus Luer which includes a short presentation by him to set up the topic of the session and then the members will discuss, share their thoughts, ask questions and debate the topic.  The direction of the discussion is truly influenced by the participants of the given session.  It’s a fascinating learning experience for everyone involved. Come join us for future sessions by getting on our mailing list.  Please register HERE
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Follow us on our social sites for the latest updates
Instagram: https://lnkd.in/ferKA6N
Facebook: https://lnkd.in/fw7Z_9h
LinkedIn: https://lnkd.in/fVQzNj5
Website: https://marcusluer.com

https://marcusluer.com
https://marcusluer.com/mastermind
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Free Download / Stream: 
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