former nfl player embraces the challenges of running A Technology startup
After a stellar four years of playing safety at the University of Notre Dame, Sapp was drafted to the NFL, where he excelled as a member of both the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts. Searching for something beyond his football career, Sapp took his first shot at entrepreneurship with a sustainable apparel company called Morph & Thro, which he founded along with two other former Notre Dame football players in 2008. Starting the company from scratch, Sapp learned the important lessons of building a business from the ground up, but the lesson of persistence was the one that stayed with Sapp the most. “I knew next to nothing about the apparel business, especially sustainable apparel,” Sapp said, “but it was something we believed in. I know it sounds cliché, but I really discovered that it you are really passionate about something and you really believe in it, you can do anything you want to.”
Fluencr helps brands identify and utilize built in ambassadors by leveraging and rewarding their existing social media influence. By using Fluencr, major companies identify and connect with individuals who prove they can be socially influential for their brands. Additionally, by linking their major social networking accounts like Twitter and Facebook to Fluencr.com, consumers who prove their social influence to the brands and their accompanying social media campaigns can get rewarded based on how much attention they bring to the brand. So a fan of Nike with a couple hundred twitter followers could tweet a picture of his or her favorite Nike basketball shoes and potentially get a new pair for free. Users can also get their friends to join in and create teams to promote social media campaigns of their favorite brands.
Attempting to solve the lucrative issues of social media ROI is a problem all companies big and small face. Fluencr provides the answer by tracking, measuring, and scoring all the social engagement a user generates from their action, determining their effectiveness in generating social buzz around the brand and their content or products. In addition to creating a valuable and measurable connection between brands and their top ambassadors, Fluencr has the ability to tap into any social network’s API and gather potentially helpful data for its users from that network.
While excited about the prospects of Fluencr and its ability to easily access ambassadors and connect brands with them, Sapp took some time to reflect on what he has learned so far during his new career as a startup founder and entrepreneur. “Make sure you know what you are getting into and the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur,” Sapp advises. “Not everyone can take being told no or this won’t work for 364 days out of the year, but you still have to go in on that last day knowing your right.” Without a doubt, Sapp’s success and experience on the football field has carried over into his journey as a startup founder, giving him the proper mindset to succeed with Fluencr going forward.
“I learned in football, you’re going to lose a game or have a bad one, but that’s life. What you do that next game or next play is what matters, and that mentality has followed me into the business world,” Sapp said. “Now that I no longer compete on the football field, my competition is in the business world, it’s just a matter of how much work I can put into it.”
There is a big difference between money and success, if you’re chasing money you’re chasing ghosts" -Gerome Sapp