A game-changer with the “balls” to make a difference
“If you want to change sport from the ground up, you need some pretty big balls.” MOVE Congress 2019 keynote speaker Markos Aristides Kern uses the name of his successful start-up Fun With Balls in a cheeky way, and that is exactly how it’s meant to be. Markos is one of the grassroots sport sector’s most dynamic entrepreneurs, winning at award for best innovator in sports tech in Toronto earlier this year.
Markos will share the secrets to gamifying physical activity on 17 October in the morning’s plenary session in a presentation that could change how you see the future of grassroots sport. And you can even test his new multiBALL technology in our brand new Innovation Alley during the breaks.
We spoke to one of the hottest speakers on the global conference circuit about what he’s looking forward to most at the MOVE Congress and why he has succeeded in reaching people who have never been interested in traditionally organised sport.
What are you looking forward to at this year’s MOVE Congress?
Markos Kern: Times are changing fast and sports also needs to reinvent itself. For that reason, I’m looking forward to meet with the thought leaders and innovators at the MOVE Congress to discuss how sports can stay relevant in an ever more digital world.
What are Fun With Balls’ most popular and marketable innovative products?
Markos Kern: I think our main point behind all our products is that we managed to fully merge sports and gaming into a highly attractive experience. This means we actually make people move who never considered participating in a sport while making the facilities much more profitable than before.
Who are your main customers?
Markos Kern: Our main clients are operators of sports facilities, schools, malls – anybody who’s interested in gaining more footfall and commercialising their location better. Our products provide a real solution to a big problem.
How can gamification be a game-changer for grassroots sport and physical activity participation in general? And how has Fun With Balls changed the game for squash and racquet sports in particular?
Markos Kern: Real gamification gets anybody hooked to being active in an instant. One hour or more can feel like a few minutes, making it easy even for couch potatoes to get their workout. This enables sports and their operators to keep up with other activities and the ever declining attention span of today. In squash, this is a game-changer already due to the high average age and aged image of the sport. All of the sudden a trip to a squash centre becomes a highly desirable activity for a young target audience.
You have broken through into the public eye this year, with a lot of international speaking engagements to follow. Has this year been a game-changer for you?
Markos Kern: It has indeed. We’ve grown our start-up from a small company with 8 people to now 23 and we’re still hiring. This year marked an important milestone for us with many governments and institutions also realising the great potential of gamification to solve a big problem in society. We’ve expanded internationally and launched multiBALL, a system that can easily be installed by anybody in schools, gyms and other locations. And we’re just getting started.
Catch the tech wave with Markos at the MOVE Congress 2019 and get ready to experience multiBALL for yourself!
Who is Markos Kern? Watch the video below from Chicago earlier this year.