Former professional footballer now revolutionizes the sport | sponsored

It was a surprise to Snijders that no one had dived into that hole yet. So he did it in late 2020. Together with his management team – consisting of Eric van der Maarel (finance and sales professional, entrepreneur and investor) and Alexander Janssen (economist, entrepreneur and sports technology investor) – he founded the Dutch Sport Tech Fund. “People then say, ‘What do the Scouts know about investing?’ My strength is to bring the right people together to become champions. “

He once saw the strength of the team on the field; he played as a professional in AZ and the English Port Vale. “I was certainly not the best player, but I worked hard to win together.” In addition to playing football, he studied Architecture and Business Administration. After his football career – he stopped as a 28-year-old – he entered the sports world and worked with sports technology. So it was not that big a step for the Dutch Sport Tech Fund.

Only fund in the Netherlands

The Dutch Sport Tech Fund is the only fund in the Netherlands that facilitates investments in innovative and scalable sports technology companies. And it is a smart investment, says Snijders. “The global sports technology market is expected to grow to $ 30 billion by 2024 and $ 50 billion by 2030.”

It is therefore not surprising that one innovation after another is presented. From sensors in shoes that collect data to improve performance to a solution that allows clubs to train players and coaches better. It’s certainly not just about companies coming up with something to make top athletes even better, but also about solutions that focus on amateur athletes.

“Vitality is an important theme for everyone,” Snijders explains. “A lot of people are working on a healthier life, and there are a lot of ways to work on a different lifestyle.”

Expected return of 10 per cent

The six sectors defined by the Dutch Sport Tech Fund are: Athletics Performance, Data & Analytics, Fan Engagement, Athlete Branding, OTT (Over The Top Content) and Esports, fantasy sports and betting. “We invest in a mix of more than forty interesting scale-ups and start-ups. Because more companies are involved – nationally and internationally – the risk is spread. At the moment there are six participants, in the end the portfolio must consist of more than forty participants. ” The Dutch Sport Tech Fund expects to realize a value growth of 10 percent per year with its participations.

Current entries include, for example, the Spanish Horizm, a pioneer in digital sports sponsorship. But also the English Circl, a social betting app where you can place a bet with your friends during a sports match. An interesting market is esports, says Snijders. “Did you know that the final of the League of Legends – an online game – looks better than the Super Bowl broadcast?”

Dutch Sport Tech Fund invests in the verticals Athlete Performance, Data & Analytics, Fan engagement, Athlete branding, OTT (Over The Top content) and Esports, fantasy sport & betting.

Dutch Sport Tech Fund invests in the verticals Athlete Performance, Data & Analytics, Fan engagement, Athlete branding, OTT (Over The Top content) and Esports, fantasy sport & betting.

Currants from the porridge

But how do you decide which company is worth investing in? In other words: how do you get the currants out of the porridge? Snijders and his management team have assembled experts who carefully evaluate everything they suggest. “We have specialists in media rights, e-commerce, data, but also accountants and people with legal knowledge. Then it goes through the board. ”

A team of ambassadors from different branches of the sport is also affiliated with the foundation. Former top athletes such as Marianne Timmer (ice skating), Roelant Oltmans (hockey) and Stanley Menzo (football). “They have experience with sports, so they are the right people to test innovations. For example, we have built a really good team around us to assess whether a company is viable or can move on to the next phase. ”

Contribute to growth

Snijders also wants to collaborate with the companies in which his fund invests. ”If we believe in a product or a solution, we also want to contribute to the company’s growth. Not: here you have money. But: how can we ensure that your product or solution becomes an even greater success? ”

You can now invest in the Dutch Sport Tech Fund from 100,000 euros. “We focus on wealthy people who see a future in this branch of sport.” Snijders and his staff are also considering issuing certificates for lower amounts. “It is precisely this market that is very interesting for more than just professional investors. “Young people understand well that this market is booming, because they themselves are part of it. Maybe we will also focus on them in the future. ”

Invest in sports technology? Click here to request the brochure from the Dutch Sport Tech Fund.

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