A Graduate of the Greenville Founder Institute, Bandwagon is a company dedicated to providing college and professional level sports organizations with information about their fans so that they can improve the game-day experience and fill more seats. With offices in Austin, Greenville, and Sacramento, Bandwagon has grown fast since its founding in 2014. This is largely thanks to the company's CEO and founder, Harold Hughes.
Who's Harold Hughes?
In 2014, Hughes received his MBA in Supply Chain and Information Management at Clemson University, and is currently pursuing a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Stanford University.
In addition to being the CEO of Bandwagon, Hughes currently serves as a board member for both Rebuild Upstate and Brickyard Innovation Lab—both of which are located in Greenville.
Rebuild Upstate is an organization that utilizes volunteer labor to repair homes belonging to low-income families and other residents of upstate South Carolina who are unable to either perform or afford necessary home repairs.
Brickyard Innovation Lab offers workspaces, mentorship opportunities, and education programs that help small businesses in the area make connections and find success similar to what Hughes has obtained through Bandwagon.
The Growth of Bandwagon
Before founding Bandwagon, Hughes worked for another Greenville-based company, ScanSource, starting in 2007. There he worked his way up from a sales associate to a business development manager in charge of recruiting customers throughout the northeastern United States. In 2015 he departed to redirect his efforts toward the growth of his own company.
In order to form professional connections and find investors for Bandwagon, Hughes participated in a minority entrepreneurship program led by Google and American Underground that, in 2016, selected twelve new startups and placed their founders in an intensive week-long course that taught them how to break down prejudicial barriers and secure funding from potential investors.
More recently, in 2018, Bandwagon participated in Capital Factory's Accelerator—a six-month Austin-based program designed to connect businesses with investors. In addition to Capital Factory, Bandwagon is currently financed by a handful of other investors: Backstage Capital, Blue Vista Ventures, the Founder Institute, and the Black Angel Tech Fund.
What Bandwagon Does
Bandwagon was initially created as a service that allowed sports fans to buy, sell, and exchange tickets with each other. Although Bandwagon's mission to provide sports fans with an unparalleled game-day experience remains, the company has since transitioned from helping fans find good seats to providing venue organizers with notable characteristics of visitors (such as how far someone has traveled to attend) that can be used to improve their stadium experience.
By matching the right fans with the right services, teams are able to offer an unmatched live event experience.
The above statement from Hughes appeared in a Greenville Business Magazine article. It describes the current goal of Bandwagon: to provide sports organizations with the information they need to create personalized customer experiences during live events.
This data can be collected through virtually any platform that is used to buy and sell tickets. It is then sent to venue organizers through Bandwagon's own Stadium Identity Management Platform so fans can be catered to based on their individual profiles. Bandwagon utilizes a blockchain database system to keep user data secure during this process.
In the same piece mentioned above, Hughes explains why organizers benefit from using Bandwagon:
Sports organizations have no idea who is showing up in their stadiums on game day, which directly affects revenue and attendance . . . We can fix that and help them create an experience that fans want to come back for again and again.
If you want to start a tech company in Greenville, then apply to the Greenville Founder Institute today!