TNL interview with Johannes Waldstein, FanAI Co-Founder and CEO

TNL Take: Exclusive interview with Johannes Waldstein, Co-Founder of FanAI:


The Next Level: Why did you create FanAI and what was the opportunity you saw in the eSports ecosystem?

JW: Our backgrounds are from Google, Facebook and dunnhumby, three of the most data driven companies in the world. Particularly at dunnhumby, where we provided analytics on over 800M loyalty cards from some of the worlds largest retailers like Home Depot and Best Buy, to brands like P&G, Unilever, and Pepsi. We wanted to take the knowhow we had on understanding purchase behavior, social and demographic segments and monetizing data to eSports.


The Next Level: The number of brands investing in eSports are on pace to double 2016’s total with 60+ Non-Endemic’s in the first half of 2017 alone. What can FanAI offer these brands they’re currently not getting after their campaigns end?

JW: There are two problems that we help solve:

/01 There is still a general perception that eSports is an homogenous audience of under-age male, energy drinking caffeine fiends living in a dark basement (our data shows something very different). But many big brands ask how is this relevant to me?

/02 Because the rights holders can’t segment their audience by purchase behavior and channel, even if a brand invests sponsorship dollars or marketing budget, they can’t correctly target segments of the audience in different social channels and measure how well their investment worked. It is currently extremely hard to show ROI.

FanAI has integrated proprietary purchase data streams and the leading social media channels and so can offer brands the ability to understand and predict purchase trends of the eSports audience across about 200 spend categories as varied as CPG, Automotive and Travel.


The Next Level: What partnerships can you publicly announce and how are you working together?

JW: We can publicly announce our partnership with DreamHack, one of the largest digital festival and LAN party organizers and we have several further partnerships that will be announced over the coming weeks and months.


The Next Level: We’ve talked about brands and event partners – how can FanAI help eSports teams as well?

JW: We have a partnership with Immortals, one of the leading eSports teams in LA and owners of the LA Overwatch franchise.

As eSports teams continue to grow their audiences and sponsorship deals they can use the same tools FanAI has built for the games publishers, agencies and brands to understand and monetize their audience. We have also mapped the social ecosystem for the top 100 teams giving teams the ability to see fan overlap and movement in social networks between leagues, teams, players and sponsors. Understanding how many uniques each has and how many fans they have in common.


See the full interview here