We talked with Henrik Kammermann, founder of Picstars, which is one of the top ten start ups of the year 2016 in Switzerland. Picstars created a new business model for athletes and sport organizations.
Please describe Picstars’ business model
Picstars was founded in 2014 by four entrepreneurs from Switzerland. Picstars is developing a brand new technology that
- Brings together brands and ambassadors with a perfect fit and
- Enables brands to be present with their brand/campaign on their ambassadors’ social media photos and videos.
Visual, controllable and measurable. Ambassador can consist of stars & talents such as in sports, with a individual great reach or of event guests, happy customers, employees etc. with a combined even greater reach. Stars&Talents through Picstars get sponsored according to their reach and performance on Social media, event guests get motivated with ex. meet & greet with their fav football player, tickets and so on.
Picstars consist of an App for users such as stars and talents and of a cockpit for brands. However the technology can be integrated in existing apps such as a football club fan app or any other app. As an example, Picstars is already integrated into YB Bern’s fan app as well as into this years the Ski World-championship App St. Moritz. In both cases the event promoters can count on a enormous reach fas beyond their event borders.
What are the objectives of Picstars?
Picstars will be the largest technology driven agency that brings together brands and ambassadors who are a perfect fit. We deliver high quality reach. Visual – controllable – measurable!
Why should an athlete or sports club use Picstars?
A star or an upcoming talent is automatically matched with a perfect fitting brand/sponsor. The sponsor pays the new ambassador (the star or the talent) through Picstars according to his/her reach on Social Media. And even if the talent already has contracts which include Social Media photos, Picstars can be used: As a pure controlling and measurable instrument for both, the talent and the brand.
Often talents do not want to sign long-term contracts, Picstars’ so called ‚opportunity sponsoring‘ which sometimes only includes a 3 months sponsoring is of interest to a fast forward moving and independency loving athlete.
For Clubs, Picstars is a great way of reaching a lot of people outside its boundaries and possibilities: through player and fans. Often clubs are lacking services they can provide to existing and new sponsors, with Picstars they now can provide a great and controlled social media reach in return for their sponsoring.
Which athletes or sport organisations are already your client?
We are currently working with all Swiss frescoers and snowboarders of Swiss Ski, with Beach Volleyball players who were in Rio 2016, with Belinda Bencic etc. just to name a few. Club wise, as mentioned above, we are integrated in the existing YB Bern and Ski WM App 2017, with our own Picstars App we will be present at the Mercedes Benz arena in Bern during the ice hockey playoffs, at a Bruno Mars and Drake concert etc.
On which new features are you currently working?
Automatisation of the whole process from first contact with a brand and talent until a talent actually gets paid is a big thing currently, lots of ‚backend‘ work is still manual. Saying that, we have invested nearly 2 years to bring the technology, including monitoring, the apps, the whole backend etc. to where we are now.
But even if we do have the technology in place we can always work on our in-app user experience: The users are used to so many different high quality apps, so to be one step behind on that is not an option, its a constant process of improving and improving and improving.
Which current digitalisation trends impress you?
If politicians start to talk about whether a machine should be paying tax because it replaced a human work force, we definitely have to take AI (artificial intelligence) for full. Soon machines will be able to learn and adapt to their environments. AI has long been considered the realm of science fiction, but as technology improves, AI becomes a reality. And of course Augmented and Virtual reality and how brands can be close to its consumers. Pokémon GO is a perfect example for that. Real but when you think about it, pretty scary.
What is your favourite sports team?
I do prefer individual sports such as golf or tennis. However, when these individuals come together and play as a team, such as a Ryder Cup or Davies Cup, the energy it produces it electrifying and impresses me.
With Picstars brands are present on all of the photos and videos of well-known and new stars and talents – targeted and measurable. Companys pay the ambassadors based on their performance and achieved reach, and track, measure and control all interactivities using your personal cockpit.