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Volume 21 No. 39
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Tech company gives fans ‘ultimate selfie’ from TV, game video

The late artist Andy Warhol is famously credited for saying “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” But a group of lawyers and technologists have sped that concept up to a matter of seconds.

15 Seconds Of Fame, which debuted nearly three years ago in a test at the University of Michigan, seeks to capture fan moments from stadium video boards and sports broadcasts — such as catching a foul ball, dancing during a timeout or getting located by a Kiss Cam — that were typically lost to consumers after the fact.

15 Seconds of Fame
 Launched: 2014
Headquarters: New York, with several satellite locations including Seattle and Boulder, Colo.
Number of employees: 34
What they do: Deliver fan moments from video boards and TV broadcasts using several technologies including facial recognition
Using a proprietary combination of several technologies including facial recognition, 15 Seconds Of Fame ingests, clips and delivers fan shots to their personal devices. The free fan clips, often delivered soon after the completion of a game, are then easily shared across social media networks.

The 15 Seconds Of Fame content is delivered to fans through the company’s mobile application that takes a picture of the user at sign-up, and then notifies the fan when a match is found using a mix of facial recognition and specially created algorithms searching through broadcast and scoreboard footage.

“We consider this sort of the ultimate selfie,” said company Chairman Bruce Cohen, a longtime Washington, D.C., lawyer and former chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee. Cohen’s team includes Chief Executive Brett Joshpe, who also has a legal background having spent a decade in corporate law before starting 15 Seconds Of Fame in 2014.

“This is a moment where a fan is rewarded for being a fan with professional quality content they didn’t have to take themselves,” Cohen said.

The company, using a tagline of “The Future of Memories,” has assembled a variety of top-tier partnerships, including ones with MLB Advanced Media, the NFL, NHL, Big Ten Network and a growing collection of pro and college teams. The Vegas Golden Knights recently became the latest team to align with the company.

Photo by: 15 SECONDS OF FAME
And in the collegiate ranks, several schools are also looking to deploy the 15 Seconds Of Fame technology in non-sports settings such as graduation ceremonies and other major university events.

One of the biggest requests and most frequent calls we always get are from fans who said they saw themselves on the Jumbotron and want to get that video,” said Nathan Schwake, associate athletic director for marketing and licensing at the University of Kentucky. “Until now, we haven’t really had an answer for that. So we view this as a real service to our fans.”

15 Seconds Of Fame has not disclosed its revenue to date, with executives describing them so far as modest as the company still seeks to build awareness and scale. But it is looking to develop a two-pronged revenue model in which hardware and software licensing fees are joined by advertising revenue generated through the fan clips.

Most of those ad executions primarily will involve short post-roll videos since the 15 Seconds Of Fame fan clips are often less than 10 seconds.

Key Executives:
 Bruce Cohen: chairman
Brett Joshpe: chief executive officer
Alix Cottrell: chief operating officer
Sandy Montag, Kobe Bryant and Armen Keteyian: consultants and adviser

Key Partners:
MLB Advanced Media
Big Ten Network
A wide array of individual pro and college sports teams
Despite a steady flow of venture capital money toward sports technology startups in recent years, 15 Seconds Of Fame has yet to raise any institutional funds. Instead, the company’s development to date has been supported by an undisclosed eight-figure sum of convertible notes. But it has not ruled out a larger equity round with a strategic partner as it continues to build its offering.

Aiding the company, particularly in working with various sports properties and networks, is Sandy Montag, president and chief executive of The Montag Group. The industry veteran and former IMG powerhouse said he almost accidentally “stumbled upon” 15 Seconds Of Fame as he began to build out his own consultancy, but quickly joined on in late 2016 as a company adviser.

“I saw this as an opportunity to get these guys in the room with the top leagues and networks and help get them to the next level as everybody tries to figure out what the future of media looks like,” Montag said. “I see 15 Seconds Of Fame and what they’re offering as a really powerful cross section of technology and live entertainment.”