|Loyal fans will know how annoying it is to apply for every competition and giveaway going, only to be pipped at the post by someone more web-savvy or quicker off the mark. Now entrepreneurial FC Barcelona footballer Ivan Rakitiĉ (left) has gone to extreme lengths to stop his fans missing out - creating a new mobile app and business that he says will shake up the celebrity giveaway market. His start-up, Scorrers, aims to connect sports stars, musicians and other celebrities with their fans by giving away prizes and memorabilia in a fair, free and convenient way.|
Loyal fans will know how annoying it is to apply for every competition and giveaway going, only to be pipped at the post by someone more web-savvy or quicker off the mark.
Now entrepreneurial FC Barcelona footballer Ivan Rakitiĉ has gone to extreme lengths to stop his fans missing out - creating a new mobile app and business that he says will shake up the celebrity giveaway market.
His start-up, Scorrers, aims to connect sports stars, musicians and other celebrities with their fans by giving away prizes and memorabilia in a fair, free and convenient way. Wayne Rooney and Kobe Bryant have already donated through the app, as have fellow FC Barcelona players Gerard Pique and Neymar Jnr.
In the past, Rakitiĉ says his attempts to give away his signed shirts and boots have not gone to plan because football-mad fans go to extreme lengths to win the prized items, queuing all night or sitting glued to his Twitter page.
Working with co-founder and fellow Croatian Ivan Ileèiĉ, he believes the newly-launched app will be downloaded by millions, with the 3.5 billion football fans around the world as its starting market.
Since launch at the start of 2016, Scorrers has been downloaded more than 50,000 times and used for 130 giveaways.
The app aims to build a base of 100 to 200 celebrities to use the app to give away everything from signed clothing to VIP tickets for events, by using an algorithm to randomly assign a winner.
This makes it easier for the stars to know their gift is going to a real fan, rather than a tout.
Every person who signs up to Scorrers is given 1,000 credits, and automatically has one free app entry to all the prize draws. Extra entries cost five credits each and can be generated by sharing one of the giveaways on social media - which earns 100 credits.
In the future, users will be offered the option of paying a small amount to upgrade to the 'pro' version to earn more credits.
The footballer, who also plays for the Croatian national team, initially intends to use his social media clout - half a million Twitter followers and 3.3 million likes on his Facebook page - to reach out to other sports stars and spread the word to fans.
He then hopes to expand into the worlds of show-business and entertainment.
Rakitiĉ, who has already given away his boots and shirts on the app, says his idea has been welcomed by his fellow professional footballers:
'Of course I have spoken with lots of soccer players, some of which are from Barcelona, who really like it and think it's an interesting idea. It's really positive that we've got other players onside. '
The sports star, who earns around £75,000 a week, has invested a considerable amount of his own money in the project, owning a 25 per cent equity stake. But he says he isn't motivated by financial gain.
'It's more important than money. I wanted to know how it would be possible to get closer to the people. It means fans can be closer to these different sports stars, and we have to give something back to the fans.
'There is no other app like this and we hope we are going to reach a lot of people.'
Rakitiĉ is following in the footsteps of fellow footballers Michael Owen, who is involved with the social networking site Sports Lobster, and former Chelsea player James Ashton, whose app Klipcraze asks people to post strange selfies in exchange for freebies.
However, the Scorrers team say there is no other app out there trying to bring order to the chaos of the giveaway market.
The app is currently crowdfunding on online platform Seedrs for £150,000, in exchange for 3.65 per cent of its equity. The money which will be put towards global marketing, hiring a senior team and adding new features such as in-app purchases.
Every investor with one share or more will automatically be entered into a competition for a signed FC Barcelona jersey. Anyone who invests more than £3,000 will be able to buy two VIP tickets to the Scorrers Gala Dinner in Barcelona in February 2017, where the Scorrers founders, celebrities and some FC Barcleona players will be on hand.
So far the funding drive has raised a little over £100,000, reaching two thirds of its target, and will run until late January 2017.
The next step - and how the Scorrers team anticipates turning a profit- will be licensing the app to organisations like sports clubs, which will use the technology to conduct their own giveaways.
The app can be downloaded for iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scorrers-free-gifts-from-world/id1062807857?mt=8
Formatted for CROWN by Marko Puljic