Founder Story: Football Is Sexy by Monica Madrid

Industry

Sports

Location

Long Beach, Ca

Website

www.FootballIsSexy.com

Stage

Series B

Today we will share amazing startup with you: "Football Is Sexy," a media company transforming how football is appreciated. They've crafted their intellectual property to educate and entertain, focusing particularly on women fans, ensuring they are seen, heard, and acknowledged.

Monica Madrid, the founder, was inspired by her cherished football memories with her father at Candlestick Park. Driven by a desire to share this passion, "Football Is Sexy" was created as a welcoming platform for new and seasoned fans alike to learn and love the game.

Join us next as we chat more with Monica about her journey and how her company is making football accessible and fun for everyone.

Please Introduce Yourself and Tell Us About Your Startup?

My name is Monica Madrid. My passion has always been football! Growing up, my father would take me to Candlestick Park to watch his favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers, and it became everything to me. Once he passed of cancer in 2014, I realized just how many memories we had surrounding our team and the sport.

I couldn’t fathom others going through life without sports, let alone football. I felt bad for all the people who didn’t have a clue what they were missing. There is nothing like rooting on your favorite team - whether that's in the stands or yelling at your TV.

Then it dawned on me, if you didn’t grow up with an amazing culture of football like I did, where would you even begin? If I wanted to learn football? Where would you start? I realized there was no easy way to learn the game and “Football Is Sexy” was born.

Overview of Football Is Sexy

"Football Is Sexy" is reshaping how football is enjoyed and understood, especially among women. Founded by Monica Madrid, inspired by her deep connections to football from childhood experiences with her father at San Francisco 49ers games, this media company focuses on inclusivity and education in sports.

Recognizing a gap in how football was presented to new fans, Monica launched "Football Is Sexy" to make the sport accessible and exciting to a broader audience. The company stands out by not just catering to existing fans but also by educating new ones, using engaging, non-traditional methods that defy the usual clinical approach of sports commentary.

"Football Is Sexy" aims to empower women fans, ensuring they are seen, heard, and acknowledged. Through a variety of content—from podcasts to digital media—it breaks down the game's complexities into enjoyable learning experiences.

This approach has not only enriched the fan experience but also fostered a more inclusive sports community. With nearly a million followers and growing, "Football Is Sexy" continues to expand its impact, proving that the love for football can unite diverse groups, one fan at a time.

Stay tuned as we explore more about how they continue to revolutionize the fan experience in our exclusive chat with Monica.

What Problem(s) Does Your Startup Solve?

We make every piece of learning outside of the classroom two-way conversational.

This means we provide a personalized AI teacher to all students of Higher Education institutions and all employees of corporates that can teach them, test them, and answer their queries and clarify their doubts in real-time.

Simultaneously, we provide intricate data from each learner’s learning journey to institutions and corporates to enable them to increase their support at a highly personalized level.

How Did Your Startup Gain Its Initial Momentum? Share Successful Strategies or Future Plans.

There are millions of people who never had that one person or family member in their life that took the time to teach the game of football to them. If you want to learn the game, there is nowhere to go. You can try to google a few things here and there but it’s very frustrating and hard to learn that way.

So, now you have everything you want to know and learn in one app. It’s now accessible, seamless and so much fun. You have the football glossary, where each definition was written by be, the CEO and Founder personally. I wanted to help make these terms easy to understand sprinkled in with a little bit of humor.

With the 10 easy lessons that teach the user the basics of the game, one can become part of the fandom in no time and join in the football culture and conversation.

What Were the Biggest Hurdles in Gaining Traction, and How Did You Overcome Them?

The biggest hurdle is probably showing how fandom can turn into monetization. At the end of the day, investors want to make money and your company needs to make money to survive.

So, as much as everyone loves football, you have to have a clear vision on how to monetize. I had to really dive into that piece of the business. I started four businesses in one. We have the first mobile app to ever teach a sport, apparel, an all women podcast talking football and social media.

From Your Perspective, What's Missing in the Current Startup Environment?

Fundraising is not easy but when you are passionate and have a proven track record of succeeding in whatever it is you have done before, people will take you mores seriously. For instance, my angel investors have seen me grind in my prior career, be successful and a hustler.

I have never asked them for any capital until now. That went a long way. All of them also knew, how obsessed I have been all my life about football so when I told them there was a niche that was missing and that I could fill. They believed me. They knew I would never quit my good paying job if I wasn't all in. When people know YOU are all in, they will bet on you.

Can You Share Your Experience With Fundraising? What Was Your Approach?

Fundraising is not easy but when you are passionate and have a proven track record of succeeding in whatever it is you have done before, people will take you mores seriously. For instance, my angel investors have seen me grind in my prior career, be successful and a hustler.

I have never asked them for any capital until now. That went a long way. All of them also knew, how obsessed I have been all my life about football so when I told them there was a niche that was missing and that I could fill.

They believed me. They knew I would never quit my good paying job if I wasn't all in. When people know YOU are all in, they will bet on you.

What Hurdles Did You Encounter While Fundraising, and How Did You Tackle Them?

I think the hardest part is coming up with a value when you are a start up. Most likely you are not making money yet but you still have to come up with a value in order to raise capital and give equity or shares. Most likely the true value which is most likely zero can't really be black and white.

I think you have to be a realistic visionary with current numbers and a solid plan that shows growth. At the end of the day, you can guess all day long but the investor will ultimately tell you what they can give and what they want for that investment.

It will be up to you, to us as entrepreneurs to accept it or not. Not all money is good money. I have turned down money because I don't think that person would be a fit personality wise. How it starts is how it ends.

What’s Next for Your Startup? Any Exciting Developments on the Horizon?

I am very excited to bring on some other women who are very accomplished in the sports world. Bringing them on board to help grow the brand in all areas will be a great addition.

Penny Toler, 3 x championship WNBA legend, first to ever score a basket in the WNBA and Bonnie Jill Laflin (1st women NBA Scout to ever be in the NBA with the Lakers, sports broadcaster) are both presidents and helping us grow.

Football has been here since the 1890's so it's not really a trend but I do think women sports are starting to get noticed and really starting to be celebrated both the teams and the players. I am really excited to see women celebrated more than ever.

If You Could Go back and Give Yourself One Piece of Advice at the Start of Your Journey, What Would It Be?

Continue to be who you are; a hardworking, passionate person. When you get overwhelmed just do the next best indicated thing, stay in faith, never give up, surround yourself with other like minded successful entrepreneurs and always stay close to your inner circle, family and friends. They are the ones who want nothing more from you other than to see you succeed.

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