Episode 20: How Forbes 30 Under 30 Ishveen Anand is Bringing Total Transparency to the World of Sports Sponsorships

This week on G&E The Podcast we have a special guest. In celebration of the 20th episode, I had the true pleasure of sitting down with Ishveen Anand who was honored as a Forbes 30 Under 30 for her creation, OpenSponsorship.

OpenSponsorship is a platform that allows athletes and brands to connect over sponsorship opportunities seamlessly. It is an ingenious marketplace that provides total transparency to both sides of the coin. Brands big and small can work with athletes, teams, and leagues all over the world to find the ideal fit to engage with potential customers.

From Manchester to India to the US

Although OpenSponsorship was founded just over two years ago, its roots go back to her childhood years.

Ishveen grew up in Manchester, England where sport was a keystone of her life. Athletics continued to play this role during her time at Oxford, but they did not transition into the early phases of her career. Upon graduating, she took a job in management consulting. All was fine until a massive change of heart altered her path.

Ishveen missed having sports in her life. Wanting to incorporate them into her career, she became an agent. Ishveen moved to India where she began work with a sports agency specializing in golf, field hockey and cricket.

Fast Forward Eight Years

And Ishveen found herself in the US working to break into the sponsorship market. Besides golf, the sports she was familiar with (field hockey, cricket) were basically nonexistent at the professional level.

One day, Ishveen was helping a client find a sponsorship deal in Columbia and came to a realization.

“I was booking my accommodation and flight for Columbia and thought that this was crazy. Getting to Columbia is so easy yet finding out what’s available in the world of sponsorship is near impossible. Why is there not an Airbnb or a Kayak for our industry? So that’s how the idea came about.”

Now, two years later, she has done just that. With a great team behind her, OpenSponsorship has developed a platform that is straightforward and efficient.

Brands of all sizes from Fortune 500 to start-ups post campaigns describing what they want to achieve. Their platform, powered by IBM Watson, or someone on the team, will invite athletes that are a good fit. Also, the athletes themselves, no matter their stature, can apply to be an ambassador.

And that is what is so intriguing about it all. Superstars on the PGA Tour or an up and comer on the mini tours can be on the platform. As long as you have an audience that can help brands reach customers, there can be a sponsorship opportunity for you.

Episode 20 of G&E The Podcast | Golf & Entrepreneurship

In this weeks episode, Ishveen and I have an amazing conversation discussing the ins and outs of her entrepreneurial journey. Some of the topics we touched on are:

  • The importance of having a great team behind you when building a company
  • What being a Forbes 30 under 30 can do for your business
  • The current sponsorship landscape of golf and why social media is bringing so many opportunities
  • Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and much more. I hope you enjoy!

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