5 minutes with a sports fan

(L-R) Jerry Schwartz and Rod Harys.

Hotel magnate Dr Jerry Schwartz is a fan, as is Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. They are among a group of influential backers who supported the launch of FanPlus.com, a centralised marketplace developed in Australia that connects fans and organisers with sporting clubs, athletes and personalities to create unforgettable experiences.

CIM spoke with CEO and founder Rod Harys about the start-up and what it can offer event organisers.

How did the concept originate? I have worked in adverting and marketing, then moving in sporting administration so the idea came from my background in these areas and seeing a gap in the market where a platform might be able to generate a new revenue stream via a fun, unique experience.

What’s your background? I have had a very successful executive career working in adverting, then moving into sports administration as CEO of the Sydney Kings, chief commercial officer at Volleyball Australia and more recently as head of sponsorship and strategy at HelloWorld Travel. About six months ago, I had a plan to create a marketplace where sporting fans could access unique money ‘can buy’ experiences. I took the leap of faith and left the corporate world to enter the unpredictable world of start-ups.

What do you think FAN+ brings to the market? We bring a new, unique approach to experiences and the value it brings to the market is the money can’t buy opportunities FAN+ can offer. I feel FAN+ is a great platform for people to use our platform and inventory for gifting, staff rewards, team building activities, client gifting, corporate entertaining, charities to use FAN+ inventory on- consignment for events and fundraising. FAN+ also donates a percentage of each experience sold to a registered charity or foundation.

The FAN+ team with Olympian Kerri Pottharst.

What talent are you currently working with? FAN+ is working with both Australian and international brands and personalities from The Dallas Mavericks, Sydney Kings, Manly Sea Eagles, Wests Tigers, Collingwood AFL, Cronulla Sharks and athletes and personalities such as James Magnussum, Jude Bolton, Deborah Hutton and Kerri Pottharst.

Do you see FAN+ as a way to deliver unique ‘experiences’ for events? Working in sponsorship and events I was also looking for that unique money can’t buy experience and it was always a challenge. We currently are working with event organisers and event centres in offering bespoke experiences.