On Demand Athlete Marketplace Ideally Timed As Emerging Market of Athlete Influencers Bring In Next Generation of Brand Marketing
Icon Source, a digital marketplace that connects aspiring brands and athletes, announces the opening of its Series A funding round. With commitments confirmed from existing and new investors, the company is projected to close $3.5 million in early 2021. The funds will be used to expand Icon Source’s footprint and further its position as the leading resource for brands to gain instant access to athletes.
Across sports, athlete deal flow is growing despite the pandemic’s attempt to quiet or delay sports competition. Technology, automobile, beverage, hospitality and other industries are banking on athletes from existing high profile sports as well as a growing number of disciplines, including surfing, motocross, snow sports and other previously considered unconventional sports. The once lesser known nano-influencer athlete is a viable brand asset, particular for middle market companies with more modest budgets.
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It’s no surprise that current investors, who supported the company’s seed round in late 2019, include several prominent professional athletes across action sports, as well as football, basketball, baseball and the Olympics. All previous investors are expected to participate in the next round, along with venture capital.
“As a former athlete, agent and brand marketer, I saw a tremendous need to democratize the athlete endorsement industry,” shares Chase Garrett, founder and CEO of Icon Source. “Today, the athlete as influencer has growing endorsement power, but needs a platform to connect to brands, and brands need a more accessible way to reach the nano-influencer athletes, the timely Olympic athlete and the soon to arrive college athlete.”
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Icon Source has redefined the relationship between athletes and brands by providing expert strategy and production services along with its unique, on-demand marketplace platform. With global to hyper-local opportunities, the company allows brands of all sizes to execute short-term, time sensitive engagements to broaden impact across key channels. Following its official launch in September 2019, Icon Source opened its platform to college athletes on Oct. 1 in preparation for the NCAA NIL laws slated to go into effect as early as July 2021.
“Icon Source’s on demand platform takes a previously exclusive, relationship-based industry and opens its to every brand, across all budgets. By leveraging technology, companies can identify, connect and sign athletes within days, entirely online,” says Mason Plumlee, NBA Basketball player on the Denver Nuggets and Icon Source investor. “The simplicity and value that Icon Source offers to brands and athletes is unparalleled with anything on the market today.”
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