“If it smells, that’s how they’re going to get it.”While that claim would likely make most D2C creators wince, for founder Chris Alston, it’s part of the magic of his company, Mov. The upstart, based in Los Angeles, links fans to the game-worn clothing of their favorite professional athletes through a sweepstakes-style model. And in the market of sports souvenirs, authenticity (even if it consists of sweat, blood and tears) is whatever.
“We send it as is,” he stated. “We want to make it an actually special experience for the fans.”
Mov, introduced simply a few weeks earlier, is more than a rebranded eBay or NBA auction website. The company, established by Alston, his bro Brandon and Jacqueline Pounder, uses a sweepstakes-style model to raise money for a game-worn item. With each sale, 70% of cash raised goes toward a cause of the athlete’s choice. The remaining 30% goes to Mov operations and staff members. Causes presently noted on the site consist of Milwaukee Freedom Fund, Girls and Boys Club of Portland and With United States Foundation.
“Athletes use these game-worn products, and our platform gives them a way to make an impact and contribute without any extra time on them and their busy schedules,” Alston said. All a professional athlete has to do is deliver their item to a Los Angeles storage facility after the game, and Mov will get it into the winner’s hands.
Like any sweepstakes design, there’s no purchase necessary to get in. Everybody gets one free ticket to win a product, whether it’s CJ McCollum’s Li-Ning Yushuai 13 tennis shoes or Pat Connaughton’s Equality jersey. Nevertheless, if a fan wants to buy more tickets to increase their possibilities, they can do so for $1 to $2 a ticket.
“Normally with game-worn equipment, it’s whoever has the most cash,” Alston said. “For us, we’re allowing anybody to enter to win for one ticket, therefore we’re reducing the barrier to entry.”
Alston matured surrounded by philanthropy and sports. His grandparents took their own school board to court, and assisted lead desegregation efforts in Virginia Schools. His sibling is a professional basketball player and Alston himself played college football at Columbia University. Ultimately Alston left of Columbia to pursue tech entrepreneurship.
With that background, it would have made good sense that Alston landed on producing a product that integrates charitable causes with athletes. The first model of Mov looked far various than it does today. The product began as a video e-commerce platform, basically creating a video version of eBay. After Mov had problem scaling its market, he considered new ways to specify his market. He landed on the network of professional athletes that he and his brother know well– and the reality that a not-so-tiny NBA rule change had actually recently passed.
In 2018, NBA gamers were permitted to begin wearing any sneaker color of their choice. While it might be a little deal to some, the ability to use different kinds of tennis shoes rapidly became gamers repping charities or causes on their equipment throughout games. Alston saw Mov as a way to take equipment that athletes either throw away or hand out and repurpose it for a good cause.
The success of Mov, from both a charity and profits viewpoint, depends on how many fans sign up for its service and ultimately spend for a possibility to win a product. While the founder would not disclose total users just yet, he finds optimism in how much cash a product is able to make through Mov. For instance, Pat Connaughton’s Jersey made $2,164 on Mov versus $560 on the NBA auction site.
“During this insane time, insane year, we’re really attempting to take full advantage of how everybody can return,” he said.
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.