TokenStars is aiming to disrupt talent development by providing funding resources to athletes and other celebrities.
The company’s ambition to tokenize people starts with ACE – a project supporting young and experienced tennis players. With tennis being one of the most popular sports globally, ACE aims to introduce 1 billion tennis fans to the blockchain world.
“At the moment, the top 10 athlete management agencies have $1.19B in yearly commissions and 3,731 years of contracts signed. The industry is bigger than the GDP of Serbia, Bahrein, Brunei or Cyprus. ACE disrupts this market, decentralizing it and sharing the value among the community,” says Pavel Stukolov, TokenStars cofounder and CEO.
“Lack of funding is a typical problem which almost all tennis stars faced as juniors. Their funding options are limited by parents’ money, loans from friends, and small grants from local tennis federations and talent management agencies. The top 10 TMAs have over $25B in contracts under management and have a monopoly on deciding who is going to have a career and who is not. Mistakes based on gut feeling are inevitable in this process. As a crowdfunded project, ACE has the potential to disrupt tennis talent representation and protect rising stars from being overlooked,” says Sergey Demekhine, Coaching & Scouting Advisor.
TokenStars also has strong support from its first believer and investor, Forbes top-30 internet entrepreneur Elena Masolova.
“Aspiring tennis players need approximately $100K a year to build a career. Some have to put everything at stake – just like Olympic medalist and 5x Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, who came uninvited from Russia to Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida at the age of 9. Her father had to work as a dishwasher just to cover her bills. Later she earned $36.5M in prize money and $285M in sponsorship deals. With ACE, young players like Maria Sharapova can get funding for academy costs, coaches, sparring partners, and tournament participation, as well as help with signing sponsorship agreements,” says Elena Masolova.
The successful initial sale will allow ACE to support at least 20 tennis players and 2-5 established PROs who have already accumulated celebrity status. Depending on the results of the token sale, ACE might manage to sign several full-time coaches and open a small academy for ACE juniors.