Digital Virgo a ‘one destination platform’ for sports and entertainment: FAME CEO
David Falk, FAME Founder and former agent of Michael Jordan, and Donna Orender, former president of the WNBA, join Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the Digital Virgo platform, the future of sports, and the market for SPACs.
BRIAN SOZZI: French-based mobile payments company Digital Virgo announced it's going public through a SPAC merger with Goal Acquisitions Corp. That's a blank check company founded by prominent sports executives, including Michael Jordan's longtime agent, David Falk, and former WNBA commissioner, Donna Orender. This $513 million deal will bring Digital Virgo to the US market.
For more, let's bring in Goal Acquisition board members David Falk and Donna Orender. Good morning to you both. Donna, let me start with you. Why are you making this transaction? And the money raised from it, how will you invest it?
DONNA ORENDER: Well, first of all, we're making it because we came together about a year and a half ago. And we wanted to find a company that we thought had great value, that created great-- that not only had great value, but also produced great value in terms of this business. And so finally, we've been able to identify and close that deal. And ultimately, when we do, that money will be utilized very impactfully by this company to do more M&A and continue to grow this terrific Digital Virgo company.
BRAD SMITH: David, what kind of M&A are you thinking is on the docket right now?
DAVID FALK: Well, the company right now has a global presence, but it's not-- does not have a presence in North America. And our team, Donna and myself, Harvey Schiller, our chairman, Jon Miller, the former chairman of AOL, we think we have hundreds of years of contacts, of relationships in the world of sports and entertainment that we can really establish a tremendous anchor for Digital Virgo here in the United States and North America.
JULIE HYMAN: And so, David, actually, if I can follow up on that, so do you see Digital Virgo, then, as being just the beginning of something you hope to create through acquisitions, through organic growth? Like, what do you see Digital Virgo being in five years, in 10 years?
DAVID FALK: That's a great question. So I teach this at the Falk College at Syracuse University. I think the future of sports is the convergence of sports, entertainment, gaming, wagering, technology, artificial reality. And Digital Virgo is a one-destination platform that allows all those activities, plus music, travel, and commerce to be utilized around the world.
And so our job is to identify future acquisitions that will continue to grow the company. Digital Virgo has had seven consistent years of profitability. It's a very well established solid company. And our job on the gold team is to create very, very significant future growth.
JULIE HYMAN: Donna, I'm going to tackle a little bit of the elephant in the room if I can and ask about the SPAC structure in going after this deal because the SPAC has definitely had a rise and fall, shall we say, over the last year. How did you guys hit upon this kind of vehicle to bring Digital Virgo public?
DONNA ORENDER: I think we had a really disciplined diligence throughout our entire process. In terms of finding the kind of company, whether it's a SPAC or an IPO, the market is always going to want to invest in companies that have cash flow, that are relevant, that are continuing to grow. In addition to what David said, let me just also add that they've had-- they've purchased 14 companies over the last 15 years and effectively and efficiently integrated them into a global platform.
So they're an incredibly well operated company with a vision to add more goods and services. And so whether it's an elephant in the room or not, especially in a time when a market, people say, oh, it's dipping. You know what? That's when people and investors get more discerning. And when you're more discerning, you're going to find the really good values, and this is one of them. And that's why we're feeling so optimistic and really pleased with this partnership.
BRIAN SOZZI: David, we talk a lot about how the streaming movement is starting to really just upend the sports industry, whether it's basketball, baseball, golf-- you name it. I mean, how do you see that playing out over the next five years?
DAVID FALK: Well, I think five years from now, when you watch the Super Bowl, you're not going to be watching it most likely on NBC or Fox. You would be watching it on Amazon or Netflix. And the minute your team wins, you're going to press a button and you'll order merchandise from your team. That's exactly what Digital Virgo is. It's a one-stop, one-destination platform that's going to enable streaming and all sorts of entertainment options for its customers.
You have to remember, around the world, there are five times more customers that don't use banks and credit cards globally than there are. So the audience is enormous. It's in the billions. And our job is to create strategic partnerships. We currently-- Digital Virgo has over 150 telco partners around the world. And that does include America. So we're going to be meeting with the American telcos. We're going to be meeting with all the leagues and the teams here in America over the next several months, trying to create exciting new partnerships that will utilize this new technology.
BRAD SMITH: And so on the streaming side, Donna, do you believe that-- and I bring this up because even during your time at the WNBA, I mean, there were some major partnerships that were netted there. WNBA is streamed on Twitter as well. And so with some of those different partnerships on the streaming front that you've either had a hand in or be able to steer, if we do see the absence of a major player in Twitter-- and perhaps I'm looking too far out into the future-- but where would some of that social side of the conversation overflow into?
DONNA ORENDER: It's really interesting. I can say that what we have is a technological backbone that has tremendous potential to grow in so many ways. Yes, streaming, and also we don't know exactly in terms of sports what that's going to be. I saw Adam Silver said recently, we don't know where it's going to be three years, five years.
But maybe we should bring an NBA game and just show you the last two minutes. And there's a company called Buzzer, and, like, wouldn't that be interesting for us to partner with to be able to bring that form of customer service, right-- we talk about this as a technology, but truthfully, we're servicing customers all over the world. Wouldn't that be interesting?
So I think what this offers us is a tremendous flexibility and a use of imagination to create customers, goods, services, and content, in ways that we've talked about imagining for many, many years, but now maybe really much more realistic in executing.
BRAD SMITH: David Falk, Goal board member and senior advisor, Donna Orender, Goal board member and former president of the WNBA, thank you so much for taking the time here on the day. We really do appreciate it. David, you'll be happy to know that I'm going to be playing basketball tomorrow, so pick up games in my Air Jordans as well. So you'll be pleased to know that.
JULIE HYMAN: Donna wants in on that.
DAVID FALK: [INAUDIBLE]
BRAD SMITH: Thanks so much for joining us. Happy Thanksgiving to you both.