SEQL’S Robert de Wolff
By Alan Soclof
SEQL’S Robert de Wolff
Earlier this week, I caught up with Robert de Wollf, Co-founder and CEO of SEQL.
SEQL, (Sports Equality), is a company looking to disrupt amateur athletics by breaking down barriers in the space and pioneering a more equitable future.
In the conversation below, Rob and I discuss SEQL, their star-studded cap table, their business model, and a whole lot more. (This interview is edited for length and clarity.)
Alan Soclof (AS): Rob! What’s up, man? Glad that we are finally having a conversation that will be shared with the Just Raised subscribers! What is SEQL all about?
Robert de Wolff (RDW): SEQL (Sports Equality) is a platform that is disrupting amateur athletics. We are looking to build the LinkedIn for high school and college athletes.
Every year there’s 9 million athletes at the high school and collegiate level in the US alone that are looking for opportunities, a college scholarship, a brand endorsement, and more. We want all of the conversations with coaches, sponsors, and schools to flow through the SEQL platform.
AS: What inspired you to launch SEQL?
RDW: So much in modern day amatuer athletics has to do with where you’re from and your parents’ financial status. I personally grew up really fortunate, but my best friend and co-founder Bryant grew up in a completely different socioeconomic status.
This did not sit right with either of us. Your skin color and parents’ credit report should not affect your career. And at the beginning of COVID we said enough is enough and knew it was time to launch SEQL.
AS: What does SEQL’s business model look like?
RDW: The way that we’ve set up our business model is that we are free for athletes. And we monetize from colleges, corporate brands, and everybody else that wants to interact with this database.
So the question is then: How do we get athletes onto the platform? Three ways:
- Videographer services: We have an Uber-like service where you can literally press one button and request someone to record your game footage from our platform.
- MasterClass-like classes: We have agility drills, sport-specific training videos, financial literacy classes, etc. all on our platform taught by the most accomplished athletes, like All-Pro NFL WR Deandre Hopkins, NBA champion Quinn Cook, WNBA legend Nancy Leiberman, and many more.
- Influencer marketing: Leveraging these accomplished athletes’ socials
AS: How the heck did you pull off getting these athletes on your platform?
RDW: More DMs than you could ever imagine and a whole lot of persistence!
AS: I love it! One more question about your business model and then I will let you go back to running your company. What do you think the profit margins of a business like SEQL’s can look like?
RDW: Great question. We are operating in a fast growing sector of business called “Impact As A Service” (IaaS). This is a form of revenue that comes in from companies that want to make a social impact.
Massive corporations would give funds dedicated to their social impact, ESG, and CSR marketing dollars to essentially sponsor our athlete initiatives. So when an athlete gets a free highlight tape, it will say “brought to you by (insert massive corporate brand name here).”
That is the vision.
AS: Robert. It has been a true pleasure! Keep making your vision a reality and changing the lives of so many.
RDW: Thanks man! Talk soon.
Pictured: NFL All-Pro Deandre Hopkins Repping SEQL
- Impact as a service: The world of business is evolving right before our eyes. Consumers are demanding that corporations operate under strong values and social impact is a must. Nike, Adidas, Gatorade, etc. are dedicating millions and millions of dollars to equality and social causes. In February, Gatorade announced the “Fuel Tomorrow” initiative, dedicating more than $10M over the next five years to social causes around athletics. SEQL is poised to be a serious beneficiary from this trend.
- Endorsements & brand: For businesses to succeed in the athletic arena, a sweet brand and athlete endorsements are musts — and SEQL has both. NFL All-Pro WR Deandre Hopkins, NBA champion Quinn Cook, NFL Pro Bowler Ryan Clark, and many, many more. Not only are these athletes often investors in the company, but they also consistently rep the brand on the biggest stages. To high school athletes, being affiliated with these stars is priceless, and this has been a key to SEQL’s success to this point.
- Tattoo: Robert & SEQL look to make a permanent impact on athlete’s lives — something he is so serious about that he was willing to get some permanent ink on his wrist to the tune of “Sports Equality.” Would I ever recommend a founder getting a tattoo of the name of their venture on their wrist? Definitely not. But if I were an investor, I would absolutely love it.
I am so excited about what SEQL is building, I might be sliding into Rob’s DMs soon to see if I can sneak just a few bucks into the company!
CHART OF THE DAY
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Source: The Network EC
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- This is 2 hours more than users engaged with YouTube (23.7 hours monthly).
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