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Virat Kohli’s Sport Convo aims to be star-backed platform; eyes more partnerships

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MUMBAI: Whether it’s a professional sport or a business venture, the competitive spirit is one thing that’s common to both. The breed of sportspersons turning entrepreneurs is growing formidably and one such player who is becoming a force to reckon with is Virat Kohli - because for this dapper current Indian test captain, scoring centuries at a brisk rate is just not enough!

Kohli’s Sport Convo, a multiplatform sports social media hub where fans can connect and “convo” about sport, has gathered momentum amongst fans. Kohli stepped into the venture early when it was still in its concept stage and today he couldn’t be happier. 

In an exclusive interaction with Indiantelevision.com, Kohli, who dons the dual hats of a player and an entrepreneur, says, “I am looking forward to the launch in the next month. The guys have been really hard at work to create a product that we can all be proud of. I am looking forward to supporting this business and see it grow.”

With a vision to make Sport Convo the premier place where sport fans consume sports, Sport Convo managing director and founder Vishal Patel is upbeat about the venture and its progress so far.

What’s more, the company is also in advanced talks with a few sports stars to invest in the venture. Patel says, “We have been approached by a number of major sports stars across the sport to potentially join Virat Kohli in investing in Sport Convo. We are in advanced discussions with a couple of stars and will make a formal announcement once things are finalised. We believe we will attract a minimum of three other major global personalities to back Sport Convo in the way Virat has. We look forward to making some major announcements soon.” 

The layout of the site indicates that Sport Convo will not be limited to cricket and hence there is a wide possibility of more stars from across the sports fraternity wearing Sport Convo merchandises and promoting the venture. When queried as to whether the company was planning to rope in more stars, Patel says, “We are a multiple sport platform. We are a star backed platform rather than a star led platform. We want our functionality, content and unique ways of creating content to be at the fore of the product. However, should sport stars want to the join the platform they would be welcomed.”

Speaking of Kohli’s role in the business, Patel says, “We have worked with him and his team from the early stages of product development. He is a shareholder of the business and an ambassador of the brand. His presence has played a vital role in giving us real exposure and it has been brilliant for us so far.”

Kholi has been spotted sporting Sport Convo caps and T-shirts on his various public appearances, which helps in the brand’s publicity and exposure. 

“He even wore our T-shirt in Dwayne Bravo’s music video Chalo Chalo, which was a great surprise to us. So to have someone like Virat enthused and motivated to see his investment succeed is excellent for a startup business like us,” Patel says.

Additionally, Gareth Bale and Alex Hales have also been seen wearing our snapbacks, which are now available to buy at www.convostore.com.

It was the growth of technology and the spurt of multiple online platforms that triggered Patel to come up with a venture like Sport Convo, where fans can have conversation on various sporting moments. “I have always been passionate about the tech industry and I also am a huge fan of sports. I wanted to combine both my passions to create a hub for sport where fans like me can consume sport in a unique way, and that’s how Sport Convo came into existence,” Patel informs. 

The yet to launch platform has already roped in 24.7K followers on Twitter and has 5000+ likes on Facebook. “Considering the fact that we have not yet formally launched our platform, we are truly humbled with the kind of social media following that we have received. As of now, we have a more than 30K social media followers, which also includes some sports stars. Some notable sports stars, who have started following us organically are Real Madrid’s most expensive soccer star Gareth Bale as well as England and Essex cricketer Ravi Bopara,” Patel informs. 

Sport Convo’s Beta version, which was launched sometime back, now has more than 15K pre-registered users. Expressing delight, Patel says, “We are glad to say that we had over 15K pre-registrants and another 6K evincing interest in our merchandise.”

Sport Convo’s Android and iOS apps are slated to launch by end September. “At that point the network will be open to everybody where they can register on the site or download the app. From September to the end of October, we will have a number of updates of functionality that we hope will excite users,” adds Patel. 

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At the outset, majority of the marketing strategies will reverberate around social media. “We are in discussions with a number of third party companies including major broadcasters and telecom companies for partnerships. Since our global headquarters are in London, we will be setting up a office in India to handle marketing efforts for the region. We have not hired a marketing agency in India,” informs Patel. 

Sport Convo will have multiple revenue generating features within the app. Additionally, the venture will also be open to traditional means of advertisement. “Unlike many tech companies, we are endeavoring to build a brand and eventually launch a lifestyle fashion brand backed by social network. This would prove to be a highly unique revenue model for a tech business like us,” says Patel. 

While merchandising will be a major source of revenue, it will not be the only source. Patel says, “Merchandising will be one of the revenue sources but we will not be fully dependent on it. We are implementing some highly unique features, which we believe will provide a strong revenue stream.”

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