Jersey City, NJ – Amidst all of the COVID-induced challenges and bad news in youth, collegiate and professional sports lately, a bright spot has emerged. The 40-year-old vision of a serial entrepreneur finally launches today, giving hope to big kids and little kids alike that recreational and competitive sports are not ‘on hold’. Basement Sports is a mixed reality gaming platform, which is a blend of mobile apps and actual sports equipment made for primarily indoor settings, like homes and offices. “No room is too small to play in,” notes Founder Arman Rousta, “and we encourage kids to be creative about how they set up their home turf.”
The company has launched its first “freemium” sports app, Baseball, in iOS and Android stores already, and is working on Basketball and Soccer next, for release in Fall 2020. A socially driven game, Basement Sports apps can’t be played alone – they are structured as 1-v-1 games, where users can compete in leagues, tournaments or one-off games against their friends and ranked competitors. While players can use equipment that they already have, the company offers affordable Starter Kits (starting at $50) and Accessories for each sport, which are available for pre-order now on basementsports.com, and will also be carried by Amazon and major retailers in the coming weeks.
The global gaming market is worth $152 billion (2019), with 45% of that, $68.5 billion, coming directly from mobile games. Meanwhile, the global toy market stands at $90.4 billion.
“Whether for competitive purposes or not, kids love to be creative and play, anytime, anywhere” says Rob Pannell, one of the country’s elite professional lacrosse players. “As a pro athlete, I look back to my youth, and the basement and backyard is where I honed my craft. This venture is right on time.”
Rousta adds “I grew up keeping statistics in notebooks when playing with friends for hours in my basement in Staten Island back in the early 80s. Now kids can manage all of that through our apps, while still being physically active – which is the primary goal of this venture, to improve the health of our children, holistically.”
WHY EQUITY CROWDFUNDING?
While the company has been funded to-date by Startup Think Tank b.labs Ventures, Rousta is now growing the business via an Equity Crowdfunding vehicle, under SEC Reg CF format, which allows everyday people to participate as early stage investors. Crowdfunding opens to the public today via https://wefunder.com/basementsports, and anyone can now own a piece of this promising venture for as little as $100. “I want this to be an equal opportunity tech startup, rather than one where only the super wealthy can get in early, while the rest wait for the company to go public (IPO). Wefunder’s platform offers us a turnkey solution to ‘going public’ with a crowdfund during our pre-revenue seed stage. I hope that families and kids across the country get involved, so that we can grow this venture together.”
“The worlds of physical and digital no longer have boundaries and companies like Basement Sports and entrepreneurs like Arman are clearly embracing this reality. And there is no better environment to bring this to life than the arena of kids sports where the digitally native child is encouraged and supported through the joy of play” notes Shahab Salemy, VP Digital Transformation at Nike.