Former Apple Exec Takes the Helm at Sacramento Tech Startup
Industry-veteran John Stone transitions to Fantag CEO as the company goes to market
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Fantag, a mobile video pioneer that enables instant replay at live events, announced today that it has appointed John Stone -- who has been serving as the company's COO -- to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Prior to Fantag, Stone has been an active entrepreneur and investor in technology startups and served as a vice president at Apple where he reported directly to then-COO Tim Cook (now CEO). Apple acquired PowerSchool, a startup Stone co-founded in 1999 and which today serves more than 100 million users in 70 countries.
Fantag formally goes to market in 2018
Brian Dombrowski -- Fantag's co-founder and former CEO -- made the decision to elevate Stone's role after an exceptional inaugural year developing the first iteration of the Fantag platform for customers and partners. As the company's new Chief Product Officer, Dombrowski will continue to lead the product vision and direct the adoption among the user community. Stone will focus on building the company and executing the go-to-market activities.
"2017 -- our first year -- was about developing our platform and rolling out pilots with key partners," said Dombrowski. "2018 will be a year for growth, where we build upon all the business opportunities that surfaced in 2017 with the support of John's leadership. He's a proven market maker, and his track record in education -- a potentially new and explosive market for Fantag -- is already bearing fruit."
Stone brings a wealth of knowledge and connections to leaders in the sports industry. While at Bain & Company, he consulted for Nike and the NFL regarding their internet and e-commerce strategies. More recently, he advised the NBA's Sacramento Kings on their opportunity to redesign the live sports and entertainment experience in the team's new home at Golden 1 Center, a state-of-the-art sports-and-entertainment facility. Stone also serves as the board chair of the Sacramento chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance, a national non-profit organization serving youth and high school sports.
Momentum built with leading partners in 2017
The Fantag platform enables producers and spectators of live events to capture, replay, and share their favorite moments with a simple tap of a button on their mobile devices, and without having to record the video themselves.
In 2017, the company gained fast momentum by piloting its platform with a wide range of partners, including professional sports teams in the MLS, USL and the NBA G League. Fantag partner pilots in 2017 include media companies such as the Sinclair Broadcasting Group -- a major broadcaster of high school and other sporting events -- and MaxPreps, a division of CBS which has extensive reach into the high-school sports market. In addition, Fantag began forming partnerships with technology companies such as Telestream -- an industry leader in streaming software -- proving the value of Fantag as a foundational yet complementary platform for other technology companies and content creators in the sports-tech ecosystem.
Finally, Fantag's initial rollouts revealed an exciting new opportunity: to imagine the opportunities for the Fantag platform beyond sports. In its work with high schools, the company discovered the need for a video-based learning tool for education, where Fantag's technology can be used -- among other ways -- as a virtual note-taker. Stone's experience in education will help the company explore this new and untapped market opportunity.
"It's one of many reasons I accepted Brian's offer for the CEO job," said Stone. "If not already, all live experiences will soon be transformed by video -- the more instant and digestible, the better. In 2018, we expect to make headway in a number of new markets, while continuing to establish traction with this game-changing technology in sports."
Fantag delivers instant replay and video highlights to a user's mobile device from as many angles that capture the action. Using its patented cloud-based syncing platform, Fantag enables an intelligent exchange of short-form video between creators and consumers — and thereby establishing a new category of user-curated video content searchable by time, location, events and interests. With offices in Silicon Valley and Sacramento, Fantag's advisers and investors comprise leaders at sports and events organizations such as StubHub; former executives from Apple, NBC and Telestream; members of the ownership group of the NBA's Sacramento Kings; and Moneta Ventures, a fund focused on early-stage companies. For more information, please visit http://www.fantag.live