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.
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.
— FANCHEST (@thefanchest) February 14, 2015
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.