A Mississippi entrepreneur saw a need for Magnolia State high schools to market themselves better through their websites. Now, investors are putting their weight behind Wi-Fi Sports Network in Flowood.
Two years ago CEO Charlie Helms, launched WSN with the goal of providing the technology to schools to be able to live stream events, such as football games.
"The schools are starting to see that and now understand they are branding their school and this tool helps them do that," Helms said.
With more schools about to sign on to the service, WSN currently provides technology to 16 Mississippi high schools, plus seven more in Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana. In fact, the ink is still drying on an agreement made with Bentonville High School last week. Bentonville, of Wal-Mart fame, is Arkansas' biggest secondary school.
It's that type of growth and the ability to offer quality live streams on mobile devices that has investors ready to get on board with Wi-Fi Sports Network.
More encouragement came from a $75,000 reward from Innovate Mississippi, which administers the state legislature's Mississippi Seed Fund. Innovate MS president and CEO Tony Jeff said WSN is a booster club for the 21st century.
"The schools will actually keep income from advertising sales, so it becomes the booster club mechanism for raising money," Jeff said.
The service allows schools to live stream anything at anytime, which means schools can broadcast more than sports.
"Graduations, drama performances, if a dignitary come to their school they can live stream that, if one of their students is signing with a major D1 college they can stream that," Helms said.
And just like anything else, the schools can sell time to advertisers to sponsor their broadcasts. The ability to stream live events through WSN creates an entirely new revenue stream for athletics programs.
With the help of seven employees spread out in Flowood, Olive Branch and Collierville, Tenn., Helms said they are expanding their vision beyond high schools. They are set to launch WSN Online Live next week, which will provide the same technology and service to churches and funeral homes.
Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201