Independent ad agency network Dawn has been named AOR for a startup sports “edtech” platform, founded by Oliver Marmol, the manager of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals and his wife Amber Marmol.
The platform, which has been named Versus (VS) launches this spring and its marketing efforts will be supported by four Dawn agencies including Crossmedia (analytics, communications planning and media buying); PeopleFirst (peer-to-peer marketing, reviews and recommendations); Bleacher Report (social media), and Definition 6 (CRM).
Praytell, collaborating with the Dawn team, will handle PR efforts.
VS, which announced its launch last month, said it will provide aspiring athletes access to elite mentorship and skills training with professional athletes through video content and conversational AI.
At launch, the subscription-based platform will feature a roster of baseball and softball players serving as instructors, with soccer and other sports set to release later this year.
Users will be able to learn about both the physical and mental side of sports as they interact with talent like Fernando Tatis Jr., Albert Pujols, Jennie Finch, Jessica Mendoza and others.
The company says it has $8 million in funding and will utilize conversational technology powered by Conversa from StoryFile that allows users to ask questions and receive responses in real time from instructors on the platform.
The senior management team includes Birmingham, AL-based entrepreneurs Eric Frye who is CEO and Mark Ervin who is CMO. Larry Lawson, former CEO of Spirit AeroSystems serves and board chairman. Advisory board members include Mendoza, ESPN sports broadcaster and former collegiate and Olympic softball player, Mike Shildt, credited as a co-founder of VS and former St. Louis Cardinals coach and Steve Hodges, executive vice president of promotion and artist development at Sony Music, among others.