How the Netflix of Sports Jerseys
Used An Inventory Management Model to Secure $2.5M in Funding

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Challenges

  • Knowing what sports jerseys to purchase and keep in stock

Solutions

  • An inventory management model that estimates how many jerseys to purchase for the next year

Results

  • $2.5M in seed round funding

Industry

  • E-Commerce

THE COMPANY

Rep the Squad


Rep the Squad is a jersey subscription service for the passionate sports fan who wants unlimited access to jerseys of their favorite players. 

For as little as $14.95 a month, fans can represent every player on the team in a different week, rent an away jersey, or represent the latest player who got injured.

By subscribing to Rep the Squad, someone can have a clean sports jersey delivered to their doorstep - and exchange it as often as they'd like.

 

THE CHALLENGE

Knowing what sports jerseys to purchase and keep in stock
 

When Brian Watkins launched Rep the Squad, he knew he needed a market advantage.

Thanks to 18 years of experience leading e-commerce companies like Blue Nile, Nordstrom, and Ritani, Brian knew venture capital firms would need hard numbers to show Rep the Squad had the potential for a viable business.

And based on previous sales data, he knew sports jerseys have an end-of-life experience of about 15% per year.

And so he asked himself the following question...

 

Can we build an analytical model that gets us better than 15%?

As in, can we make our jersey only have a 10% end-of-life experience instead of 15%? In other words, can you predict future jersey  demand and player success?

 
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BRIAN WATKINS
CEO & Co-Founder
Rep the Squad

 
 

THE SOLUTION

An inventory management model to predict how many player jerseys they needed to buy for the next year
 

After discussing the problem with Brian and his team, I proposed a hypothesis that you can use 2 types of data to predict jersey subscriber demand for the following year.

The types of data were...

  1. Player statistics
  2. The last 2 years of jersey sales 

Then, I went to find that data, ran the analyses, and try to find external factors that would affect the findings of the model. 

(Examples of external factors could include a player getting injured or losing support from fans due to off-the-field behavior).

Finally, I transitioned my findings back to the Rep the Squad team so that they could refresh the data feed and know exactly what and how many of each player jerseys to purchase for inventory. 

I have a Director of Analytics [at Rep the Squad].

But when I want go to the next set of multi-variable equations or find a way to programmatically repeat an analytical process, I look at Matt the go-to resource.

 

THE RESULT

Rep the Squad secured 2.5M in seed round funding, and is currently pursuing another round of funding

 

Coming out of their project, Rep the Squad felt confident in their fundraising process. 

The business model is a unique opportunity for investors because we proved that they could beat the average of a jersey's life expectancy. 

When Rep the Squad presented the inventory management model in their slide deck, venture capitalists immediately seed funded the company for a total of 2.5M. 

Rep the Squad is currently pursuing a 3rd round of funding, and has asked me to build on my original analysis to know whether a jersey subscription service reduces the revenue on jersey sales. 

A lot of people who do analytics can build a spreadsheet and give you a one off answer. But then in 3 months when you say, we need to refresh it, a lot of people can't do it...they have to rebuild it again. 

Matt's on speed dial for us because he's a trusted resource, we've worked well together in the past, and we're excited to do it again.

 
 

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