Founder’s Note: Tom ‘Vechy’ Vecsernyes
Thanks to Matchday for picking our CEO, as the first to be interviewed for their new ‘Founders Series’.
Matchday is a premium content platform featuring interviews with global leaders of the sports business. They drill deep into their careers, failures, challenges and their path to success. They profile, celebrate and learn from the biggest names across the industry and from around the world.
They interviewed Tom ‘Vechy’ Vecsernyes about his challenges, inspiration, and fostering innovation to create a new solution for the market.
Can you share a brief on your personal background and what inspired you to start ‘Seyu’?
Sport was always a huge part of my life as an athlete and as a fan. Becoming a young adult I knew that I can imagine my professional future only in sport. Combining my love of IT and sportmarketing expertise I felt the urge that thanks to digitalisation I can find solutions for existing and future challenges of the sport industry. The key aspect in Seyu coming to life was the huge number of fans around the world who would probably never get the chance to show their love and devotion to their beloved players.
As an example, think of a child in the favelas in Brazil who is sitting in front of the telly and watching Ronaldo play in Juventus, the kid looks at his father and asks when is he going to take him to Torino to watch his idol, Ronaldo live. When the father would say “one day my son”, to keep the child filled with joy and hope, however he already knows that he or even his son might not ever have the financial ability in their lives to afford a trip to Torino. This is where Seyu’s solution comes in and delivers the second best thing possible for father and son showing their love and support, thanks to a sponsoring brand or Juventus they could be rewarded for their fandom with a VIP photo posting experience and post a selfie during the match, this way showing Ronaldo their support from thousands of miles away. Imagine the euphoric and love fuelled experience that Juventus can achieve in the lives of thousands of remote fans at every match with our help. This is our call, this is how we help sport to bring joy into the lives of remote fans too.
Can you walk us through some of the challenges / setbacks that you faced while starting out, and how you overcame them?
Being a startupper and creating a new solution that did not exist before comes with non-stopping challenges. I am not going to go into details of the ins and outs of IT development, that would probably take a few hours… From the business aspect I would say that it is much easier to introduce on the market a service or product that is already out there in some form. For example, if you open a grocery store and sell food, people would know what you are talking about when asking them to list their product on your shelves, they can visualize it. Now, when you have a service like Seyu, it takes continuous explaining, creating visual assets that you can show to your customers, so they can understand and see the value behind the service that you provide. Also, it is a challenge to find the right customers on the market. There is no point selling a Ferrari to a man who only drives 300 meters on a cobblestone road every day to purchase his rassans, even if he can afford it to drive an expensive sports car. So, there are clubs and brands out there who can make the most of our solution and we have to find them, explain our solution to them and create value together.
As a founder, what are the ways by which you constantly foster innovation in your company?
You always have to be in tune with the expectation of your target market, know the latest initiatives and challenges of clubs, the desires of fans. We continuously monitor the market so be up to date. On the other hand my colleagues and I regularly take courses, seminars to improve our knowledge. I also have regular times off from the everyday work when I can get into a ‘zone’ where I can channel creative thoughts and combine them with the information that I gather every day from the market and IT development in other fields of life.
Would it be right to say that the pandemic has ‘accelerated’ your company’s growth? Can you elaborate further on how Seyu has navigated through Covid?
Yes and no. As our service is a remote fan entertainment solution, so it would be logical to be blossomed in the age of Covid. However, it caused the sport industry such a shock / freeze , that only a few clubs were able to act on it and look for innovative solutions. Fortunately clubs are now aware of its need, and we are getting more and more inquiries. – For instance WASPS rugby in England or C.D. Leganés in LaLiga SmartBank.
What do you see as the principal risks to your business? What steps do you anticipate taking to mitigate such risks?
You would expect me to say it’s the end of the pandemic that endangers the success of our solution, but it isn’t the case. Since 97-99% of fans are and always were and will be remote fans, our solution will always be a ‘must have’ for clubs with countywide and/or international follower bases.
We are trying to make the most of the clubs’ and brands’ heightened attention for remote fan entertainment solutions and show them that Seyu is not only well thought out, reliable and provides a sustainable solution that perfectly fits in their every day business.
Tom is the Co-Founder & CEO of ‘Seyu – Together for victory!’ which is an IT based solution that helps sport industry partners to generate more revenue on already sold commercial surfaces by building a desired emotional bridge between brands and fans. Seyu is an AI assisted solution which is using sport industry partners’ already existing IT infrastructure to allow fans around the world to post their photos on to the LED boards and other screens in the stadiums on matchdays, and share them instantly on social media in branded frames.