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Every day talented athletes hang up their skates, put away their bat, or box up their jersey. They quit right before they peak. Why? There’s just not enough money to continue on with their dream.
A group of Salt Lake City sports entrepreneurs has a solution. They’ve created RallyMe, a powerful web application, which puts the fundraising power of the Internet in the hands of athletes, teams, and organizations.
“It’s called crowdfunding,” said CEO Bill Kerig. “For years, athletes and teams have had to sell candy bars or coupon books door-to-door, or even tried to land an elusive corporate sponsor. It’s time for athletes to join the 21st Century and use the power of the Internet to fund their dreams.”
After Kerig used crowdfunding to raise money for a sports film he directed called Ready To Fly about ski jumping champion Lindsey Van, he had a flash of inspiration: Why not jocks? As a former collegiate hockey player and pro skier, he knew athletes needed to raise funds as badly as artists, singers, filmmakers, or inventors. And RallyMe.com was born.
Early Rally campaigns run the gamut: Winter Olympic and Paralympic athletes who’ve given up so much just to have the chance to go for Gold in 2014; an aspiring young hockey player who overcame a near career-ending concussion and dreams of making it to the NHL; a civil engineer who took up skeleton in her 20s and is on her way to greatness; a special needs hockey organization that has changed the lives of kids and their families throughout the Salt Lake valley; and a BMX athlete from Jamaica who’s fighting to make it to the Asian X-Games.
The idea behind RallyMe is for athletes to ask many people for a little help in achieving their sporting goals. In return, they may offer swag (how about a signed Stanley Cup Champion’s jersey) or services (ski lesson from a World Cup athlete.) But even more important, Boosters (or contributors, as the site calls them) get to be part of an athlete’s goal and an interactive community is instantly formed.
An April 2012 industry report, cited by the New York Times and Forbes.com, showed that crowdfunding platforms raised nearly $1.5 billion in 2011; and that funding volume is on track to nearly double to $2.8 billion in 2012. The industry leader is Kickstarter, which has helped artists and creatives, raise more than $300 million in two years.
“We believe RallyMe will be a game changer. It will help empower, inspire, and change the lives of millions of athletes,” Kerig said. “Our mission is to become the world’s most widely used athletic funding platform.”