Stadium Live, a digital social gaming platform aimed almost entirely at Gen Z, raised a $10 million Series A led by Knowledge Base Partners and Union Square Ventures.
With custom avatars, sports-focused gameplay, trivia, and in-house live streams, Live Stadium has amassed 500,000 users to date and claims that 93% of them are Gen Zers born between 1997 and 2010. The startup’s premise is that its metaverse build-out (branded as StadiumVerse), chats and abbreviated sports content will appeal to young adults who grew up in a digital culture and prefer real-time social platforms.
“I started watching Stadium Live because ESPNs around the world, they target millennials, they go to sports betting,” company CEO Kevin Kim told SportTechie. This thing. And I said, ‘Who’s building it for the next generation, who’s Gen Z?’ “
“Gen Z, they love to play games and they love meeting friends around games. They no longer watch full games around the NBA, MLB, whatever. They like to create things, they like to customize things, based on NBA2K and all these types of games. And I said, well, if these kids are all into it, the sports industry isn’t following. So how can we gamify sports fans? We’re trying to build this digital playground for the next generation of fans.”
Stadium Live app users, after creating a custom avatar, can socialize on iOS with other sports fans and earn coins to power up their avatar. Coins can then be spent on collecting unique items or used in one-on-one sports matches, among other activities.
The company recently partnered with Fan Controlled Football, a 7-on-7 indoor league that lets fans vote to call scrimmage games for their favorite team. Stadium Live produces pre-match and post-match content for the league and also runs polls to help Fan Controlled Football better engage with fans. Kim said Stadium Live also has the digital rights to broadcast the upcoming Fan Controlled Hoops League, which is set to debut in the fall.
Other Series A funding contributors to Stadium Live were Kevin Durant’s 35 Ventures, Dapper Labs Ventures, Position Ventures, Valhalla Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, Blaise Matuidi’s Origins Fund and Breakout Capital.