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KAEO Startups: The Mobile Locker Co.

The KAEO Startups series features entrepreneurs and the businesses they are creating in the sports industry. Click here or the logo to see of all previously featured startups.
 
 
The Mobile Locker Co.

KAEO The Details:
Name: The Mobile Locker Co.
Launched: March 2014
Founder: Molly MacDonald
Concept: Secure, convenient personal storage for road races and other outdoor events.
Website: www.themobilelockerco.com
Twitter: @MobileLockerCo
Email: Email The Mobile Locker Co.
 
As it has for the last several years, the number of participants in road races is poised to grow over the next few years. From local community 5Ks to the 25,000+ participants at the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon this weekend, runners make up one of the fastest growing participant sports in America.
 
Therefore, it’s likely you’ve experienced the problem that Molly MacDonald set out to solve: what to do with all of your personal belongings during a race. Most races worth their entry fee have some kind of baggage drop area but these areas are intended for a change of clothes, not personal or valuable items like a watch, phone, or keys. Race organizers encourage runners to leave personal items at home. At the very least, runners have a few personal items on them at all times like car keys and their license.  Just a few items in your pockets and running becomes much more difficult. Even if a runner feels comfortable leaving their valuables in their bag, bag check areas are prime targets for theft, especially when anyone can see into the clear bags which many larger races have switched to using.
 
Molly MacDonald, a former club lacrosse player at Arizona State and Massachusetts native, created The Mobile Locker Co. to give runners a place to store their valuables during a race.
 
The Mobile Locker Co. works just like it sounds: the runner receives a dedicated locker with a key/padlock that only she has access to until the end of the race event. All of the lockers are stored on a big truck which makes moving the lockers from event to event more seamless.
 
The Mobile Locker Co. generally rents lockers directly to the runners and relies on the race directors and pre-race communications to get the word out about the lockers to the runners. On some occasions, events have rented the entire truck for their runners in advance, making the lockers an added perk of the race.
 
Molly and The Mobile Locker Co. spend most of the spring, summer, and fall running seasons setting up at races throughout New England. In addition to local community races, they have formed partnerships with some of New England’s largest races including the Hartford Marathon & Half Marathon, the Cox Providence Rhode Races, Boston’s Run To Remember, and the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon in Portland, Maine. During the winter, Molly and her team packs up the trucks and heads down to Florida.
 
The mobile locker concept reaches far beyond running races and the company plans to expand into other events like triathlons, endurance events, and sporting events.
 
Molly originally launched the company as Blue Trailer Lockers in March 2014 and tested the idea for nine months. The trailer was a smaller initial investment than a truck and she was able to bootstrap the company through a personal loan. The company grew but faced several challenges throughout the first summer. For the most part, runners come prepared to races so Molly’s team had to work hard on changing runner behavior. They relied heavily on pre-race communication from the race directors, education on the value of the trailer at events, and a revenue share with the race directors to make the lockers mutually beneficial.
 
Eventually, runners began to expect to see the locker trailer at their local races.

Inside one of the trucks via  Cohasset Road Race by the Sea's Facebook Page
Inside one of the trucks via Cohasset Road Race by the Sea’s Facebook Page

In November of this past year, Molly bought a truck and rebranded the company as The Mobile Locker Co. They now have two trucks working events throughout New England.
 
As for the future, Molly plans to have 1-2 trucks in ten markets nationwide within five years. She is also planning on switching from a key/padlock system to a more automated system similar to the bike-share programs in major cities like New York and Boston. “As we head into the busy season of our second year, we’re seeing a lot of momentum in both New England and Florida and we want to capitalize on the potential in other regions that have strong running communities as well. We are putting plans in motion to have a national presence as the premium storage solution for road races and beyond – concerts, golf tournaments, professional football games; really any event with security concerns or a big volunteer operation. Right now, we’re working on perfecting our model and growing our team so we can enter each new market as seamlessly as possible.”
 
After rebranding the company as The Mobile Locker Co., Molly brought on two investors who are now also board members. The company currently has four business partners and will be looking for further investment soon.
 
More more information on The Mobile Locker Co., visit www.themobilelockerco.com.

 

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The Sacramento Kings Quite Possibly Had The Best In Game Promotion All Season

Is Kyrie Irving in the house? In this promotion, three long-time season ticket holders were chosen to participate in the first-ever fan dunk contest. We’ll let the video show what happened.

 

 


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KAEO Startups: FANCHEST

The KAEO Startups series features entrepreneurs and the businesses they are creating in the sports industry. Click here or the logo to see of all previously featured startups.

 

 
Fanchest-Bold

KAEO The Details:
Name: FANCHEST
Launched: 2015
Founder: Jeff Lin
Concept: A new fan experience delivered to your doorstep.
Website: www.fanchest.com
Twitter: @thefanchest
Email: Email FANCHEST

 

Fans have more choices than ever when deciding how to spend their money.  Sports remains one of the most profitable industries and fans continue to be loyal to the teams they have cheered and supported for years. Fans are passionate and express their loyalty by purchasing tickets to games, buying merchandise, talking about their favorite teams to their friends and family, and trashing talking on social media.

As the sports fan experience has changed, so too has the means by which fans show their support for their favorite teams. Purchasing team merchandise has transitioned from mail-order team catalogs to online team stores. The #1 online sports merchandise retailer doesn’t have any brick and mortar stores. With increase access comes more availability and choice.

But with more choice, comes more indecisiveness. FANCHEST seeks to enhance the best part about being a fan by providing a box full of exclusive team merchandise.

Jeff Lin is an avid Florida Gators fan and alumnus. He spent 10 years on Wall Street and has been consulting for startups for over the last 5 years. When he realized the niche that FANCHEST could fill, he decided it was time to launch his own startup.

FANCHEST caters to the sports fan. FANCHEST delivers a box of exclusive team sports merchandise to fans that crave to be more closely aligned with their favorite teams. FANCHEST combines the successful subscription box model (like BarkBox, NatureBox) with the option of a one-time purchase/gift. The company seeks to provide the best customer experience possible and didn’t want to lock anyone into long term contracts. They will, however, offer fans discounts on multiple box orders if they want to participate throughout the year/season.

FANCHEST currently only offers the New York Rangers. Since he lives in New York, Jeff is using the partnership to test his product. Hockey fans are among the most passionate sports fans that exist. The close proximity of the buyers allows Jeff to hand deliver some of the boxes to eager Rangers fans. He says the experience of hand-delivery gives him immediate feedback on how the product is doing. Our goal is to improve the fan experience on every level. That includes receiving and opening the FANCHEST. It’s great to see a customer’s reaction to our product firsthand, and it also helps me find ways to make it better.” The company is excited to expand their offering to include the New York Yankees in the coming month.

FANCHEST is part of a bigger concept called #FOMENTS, short for “Fan Moments.”  Whether it’s exclusive merchandise, tickets to a game, or behind the scenes access, FANCHEST hopes to capture and facilitate the very best Fan Moments. For example, a few lucky fans received a nice surprise with their last FANCHEST – autographed memorabilia from Rangers’ legends.

 


 
Transitioning from Wall Street, one aspect of working on a startup that has surprised Jeff is the amount and breadth of work that it requires to launch a new product. He comes from a world that is highly structured and regulate. Startups are the complete opposite. “It’s been a wild ride, and a lot of work so far. That being said, I love what’s happening and I’m really excited for the future.”

For more information on FANCHEST, visit them at www.fanchest.com.

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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Fails At April Fools’ Day With Tweet About The Badgers

Many politicians fall victim to less-than-funny April Fools’ Day jokes, but no one fell further today than Wisconsin Governor and likely Republican candidate for president, Scott Walker.

It took Walker two tweets to fail miserably. First was the tweet previewing a “big announcement.”

 


 
Then there was the actual “announcement.”
 


Does that mean he’s not really rooting for Wisconsin? As surprising and sarcastic as that sounds, Walker’s recent actions as Governor leave many asking that question more seriously then they’d like. In February, Walker’s budget proposal cut $300 million from the UW System, an unpopular move with many of Walker’s neighbors in Madison. The Wisconsin State Capitol is in Madison, Wisconsin, which is also the home of the University of Wisconsin. The men’s basketball team will play in the Final Four this weekend in Indianapolis.

Needless to say, the tweets came pouring in with disapproval.

 


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This Man Shot A Basketball, But What Happened Next Shocked Even The Most Avid Fans

Some people are born natural athletes. Others must work hard and put in hours of effort to hone their craft. What this guy was able to accomplish with a basketball shocked everyone who had ever played basketball before.

Click here to see the video.


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