Gilles Mangen co-founded his tech startup in 2014. After five years of successful product development, fundraising, and growth under the name “Sport50”, it was time for a rebranding.
by: Torge Schwandt
featured: Gilles Mangen (middle, fifth from left) and the Clubee team
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Why did you decide to rebrand your startup?
We had been thinking of giving Sport50 a new name for quite some time already. When we got started with the company, our target customers were only sports organizations. Over the last few years, we realized that the potential of our product goes beyond just sports though. Additionally, by talking to existing clients and sales prospects, we got the feedback that our name sometimes was misleading with regard to what we actually offer.
The final decision to work on a complete rebranding was then made after our latest funding round in May this year (see our article “Sport50: manage your sport organization easily“). We raised the funds to further develop our product and start scaling the company. The rebranding process is aligned with our growth ambitions. We wanted to underline this new chapter of our startup journey not just by choosing a new name but also by updating the product and building a brand that is fully aligned with our restated vision and values.
“We broadened our vision and strive to be the #1 solution for all types of organizations.”
How has your product and vision changed?
Overall, Clubee pursues the vision of fully automating the management behind clubs and organizations that are run mainly by volunteers. Among several differences is the fact that this does not only apply to sports (e.g. teams, leagues, and federations) anymore like in the past. Organizations in other fields also have the same pain points that we have set out to solve. We broadened our vision and now strive to be the #1 solution for all types of organizations where our virtual assistant can help to unburden the people behind it. Examples of such organizations would be anything from boy scouts associations, choirs, political movements to charitable organizations or even small municipalities that also can benefit from our solution in their daily management.
The product is in principle still the same web platform as before but it has a new look and feel. Several new product updates are also in the making accordingly.
We aim to fully automate the communication, marketing, finance, CRM and more of organizations in sports and other fields. So we have the same ambition as before but that is now backed by an even larger vision with an overall upgraded branding that fits it much better than it did in the past.
Why did you choose Clubee as your new brand name?
The core of our product is a virtual assistant that does the work for clubs and their volunteers. The assistant suggests and executes all sorts of tasks for the volunteers and allows them to save time and even helps to grow their organizations. It comes now in the form of a bee, an animal largely known for its hard-working character, eagerness, and its importance to humanity.
“There was a bit of an emotional barrier to throw out a name that you used for 5 years.”
What did the rebranding process look like?
We kicked it off with lots of research on the topic and our customers. We then held some internal brainstorming sessions but also consulted external partners and experts early on. Based on that, we initiated some design contests to have a foundation for the new brand look and feel. We backed this with customer surveys where our clients actually challenged what we suggested to them, which helped us to define the final branding step by step. It took several months to go through the whole process, but it was exciting.
Of course, there was a bit of an emotional barrier to throw away a name that you used for 5 years but it was a “necessary evil” after all. All aspects of our branding are now fully aligned from vision and values to the name, logo, website, and product.
What are your future plans for Clubee?
We recently opened an office in Berlin to continue our expansion in Germany. It is our goal to do the same in France by opening an office in Paris. Our focus is now on growth and increasing the engagement of our customers with our product. We are also planning to do a Series A financing round next year to continue to fuel our ambitious growth plans. There are many exciting developments on the agenda that we are looking forward to.