SFIA Member Spotlight — FlipGive

Mark Bachman, CEO & Founder, FlipGive

How long ago was FlipGive founded?

Mark Bachman: FlipGive was founded in 2015. FlipGive was a spin off from insights developed from helping large brands, retail and loyalty companies build enterprise-level community giving programs and digital marketing programs.

Can you tell us more about FlipGive? What does your company do?

Mark Bachman: FlipGive is on a mission to help youth sports teams and parents save time and money spent on their kids activities. To date, FlipGive has been focused on helping teams raise money with fundraising, and we’re now launching a Team budgeting and Team spending apps.

Today FlipGive is best known as a safe, easy and free virtual fundraising tool. Teams set up an account on FlipGive and invite parents to join. Parents shop their everyday household spend with over 700+ FlipGive brands + retailers to earn cashback. All of the cashback earned can be pooled together to lower team expenses or can be credited back to each household.

Brands and retailers work with FlipGive as a direct digital channel to highly coveted sports families (80% moms), team managers and coaches. We help over 700+ brand partners win new customers, increase sales and generate brand goodwill.

Why do brands + retailers partner with FlipGive?

Mark Bachman: We are a digital marketing platform that has connected giving to sales. To date, we’ve driven over $200MM in sales by giving back over $25MM to youth sports teams across North America. As products become more and more commoditized, we help brands stand out by giving back. Instead of discounting, brands grow sales by building an emotional connection with customers, inspiring loyalty for life. This is especially relevant in eCommerce as brands try to unlock what online shoppers need in order to stay loyal across all digital channels. And what is more important than helping kids stay healthy and active?

FlipGive customers are a premium segment — they spend more money per transaction and are motivated to spend more often to help their kids play the games they love.

What inspired you to start FlipGive?

Mark Bachman: I am not only the Founder, but I’m also a proud sports parent. I have three busy kids, all multi-sport athletes. In our house, we’ve got lacrosse, hockey, volleyball, and track and field. However, there were two things that we didn’t have: time and money. Paying for my kids’ sports became a huge financial burden. At the same time, my wife would typically put her hand up to be team manager, managing and coordinating team logistics, fundraising and social events. We saw first hand just how onerous of a task this was, which required way too much time and effort for very little return. And while this was going on in our personal lives, at work, we were helping brands build digital ecommerce programs, helping them acquire the exact same parents that were participating in the youth sports side of things. So, we kind of just put the two together solving the problem for both brands and parents and came up with FlipGive.

How are you reaching your audience to teach them about FlipGive?

Mark Bachman: A number of different ways. We work with all kinds of partners in the market. We work through sports technology partners, like TeamSnap and SportsEngine, to get FlipGive out to their audiences. We also work with sports industry partners like USA Football, Babe Ruth Baseball, Junior Volleyball Association, Varsity Athletics, Ripken Baseball. FlipGive is basically another tool in the toolbox, helping to increase participation in youth sports by offsetting fees and lowering the cost to play.

Who is your target audience? Would it be the youth athletes, their families, organizations, youth sports teams?

Mark Bachman: It’s teams and families. We first reach the coach and the manager of a youth sports team. They’re responsible for coordinating all player fees, they organize the events, fundraising and sponsorship; they really make all decisions on what the team is going to be spending their money on. And so that’s really our primary target. That’s why we’ve built FlipGive, as a platform to help coaches and managers organize and manage all team finances more effectively. And most importantly, to help parents reduce the cost of sports and activities.

What type of brands + retailers do you work with?

Mark Bachman: We work with brands and retailers across all major consumer categories — including grocery, delivery, gas, sports, travel, restaurant, home, electronics, fashion and beauty. Anything an average family spends their money on. We work with most of the world’s most well known brands and are actively adding new brands on our platform, including sporting goods manufacturers and other fast-growing consumer brands looking to scale their direct-to-consumer channels. If you’re a brand looking to connect with teams and families, FlipGive is your best direct digital channel.

Do you have any expansion plans in the pipeline? Any new additions that you guys are planning to add to the platform?

Mark Bachman: Yes, we focused first on the income side of things with FlipGive as a fundraising tool. We used COVID to accelerate the work we’re doing around team finances and team spending. We’re about to release our first budgeting application to help teams organize and manage their budget throughout the entire season. Helping to manage different income sources, money movement between parents and the team, as well as tracking and managing expenses and eventually team banking needs.

How does somebody set up an account?

Mark Bachman: FlipGive is totally free for teams and users. Just go to www.FlipGive.com and sign up. It takes about a minute to get an account created and it’s 100% free. It’s pretty easy.

How does a merchant get listed on FlipGive?

Mark Bachman: Brands that are interested in connecting with sports families and youth sports teams can go to www.GetFlipGive.com to learn more. We’re currently looking to expand our roster of specialty sports gear and equipment manufacturers and sports apparel brands.

Can anybody sign up who just wants to donate to youth sports, or you would have to be affiliated to a specific team?

Mark Bachman: You can. You can create a campaign for any organization or cause, and use your group’s spending power, and then donate funds earned back to the cause you care about. The big picture of FlipGive is that it’s a group shopping tool. We have school groups, school sports teams, school music programs and different community groups that use FlipGive as well. But our primary market is the competitive youth sports market.

Do you have any athlete sponsors?

Mark Bachman: Not officially. However, we’ve worked with a number of different athletes for different projects. As an example, we just finished a program with US women’s hockey star, Cammi Granato, for a girls hockey grant program. FlipGive and Cammi were supported by the NHL Players Association and Pure Hockey to provide cash grants and equipment packages to young female hockey players. That one just finished up about a month ago. That’s just an example, but we’ve done a few programs like that in the past.

Is that a program that you’re planning to grow and do more frequently?

Mark Bachman: Absolutely. We think that we have a unique opportunity. FlipGive’s core product is related to spending. It can be harder for lower-income families to use FlipGive because they may not have the same disposable spending power. So, we think there’s an opportunity to bring together FlipGive merchants to provide grants for athletes that otherwise can’t afford to play. So, we’re thinking of this as more of a scholarship model. And we think that there’s an opportunity to do this across every different sport at the start of sports’ season. We’re in the unique position where we can bring together athletes, with brands that we work with that are relevant for that particular sport. We can help serve kids that can’t necessarily afford to play or families that are having a challenge. We think that there’s an opportunity to scale this on an annual basis across a number of different sports.

Are teams all over the US using your platform? How about Canada?

Mark Bachman: Yes, our primary market is North America. We’re probably two-thirds in the U.S. and about one-third in Canada. Today, our primary sports are baseball, softball, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, dance and cheer. Our core market is competitive travel teams.

How has FlipGive been impacted by the pandemic?

Mark Bachman: Yeah, well, it was really interesting. We were hit really hard at the start of the pandemic when sports were cancelled. The first three months, people didn’t know what was going on. So, winter sports ended, spring sports got cancelled and summer sports got delayed. So that was a massive headwind for us. But as things started opening up over the summer, youth sports adapted to the new normal — the travel and tournaments weren’t the same, there was more localized play, but FlipGive was still very relevant. At the core, our product is really a virtual fundraising tool powered by ecommerce shopping. So, from that perspective, we actually got some pretty good tailwinds as a virtual online shopping tool. So, we actually ended up having a pretty big Q4. Families did their holiday shopping to help fund their kids’ activities. We think of it as: buy what you need to fund what you love.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA)

Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA)

SFIA is the leading global trade association in the sports & fitness industry. SFIA is the #1 source for sport & fitness research. More info at www.sfia.org.