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Stadium Live, a digital social gaming platform that caters almost exclusively to the Gen Z demographic, has raised a $10 million Series A led by KB partner and Union Square Ventures.
Through its custom avatars, sports-centric gameplay, trivia, and internal live streams, stadium live has amassed 500,000 users to date and claims 93% of them are Gen Z born between 1997 and 2010. The startup’s premise is that it metaverse Build-out (registered trademark as StadiumVerse), chat and short-form sports content will attract young adults who grew up in a digital culture and prefer real-time social platforms.
“I started watching Stadium Live because the world’s ESPNs are targeting millennials, they’re going into sports betting,” Kevin Kim, the company’s CEO, told SportTechie. “They’re still one-sided sports news and stuff like that. And I said, ‘Who is building it for the next generation, Gen Z?’”
“Gen Z, they love to play games and they love to meet friends at games. They don’t watch all the NBA, MLB, whatever games anymore. They like creating things, they like customizing things, based on NBA2K and all these kinds of games. And I said, well, if these kids are into it, the sports industry isn’t going with it. So how do we gamify sports fandom? We’re trying to build that digital playground for the next generation of fans.”
Stadium Live app users can connect with other sports fans and earn coins to improve their avatar after creating a custom avatar on iOS. Coins can then be used for collecting unique items or for one-on-one sports trivia matchplay, among other things.
The company recently partnered with Fan Controlled Football, a 7-a-side indoor league where fans can vote to call games from scrimmage for their favorite team. Stadium Live produces pre-game and post-game content for the league and also conducts surveys to better connect fan controlled football with fans. Kim said Stadium Live also has digital rights to stream the upcoming Fan Controlled Hoops league, which is expected to debut in the fall.
Other contributors to Stadium Live’s Series A funding were Kevin Durant’s 35 Ventures, Dapper Labs Ventures, Position Ventures, Valhalla Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, Blaise Matuidis Origins Fund and Breakout Capital.