What’s your idea of fun? For this local power couple, it’s launching yet another web app. Chrissy Earl and Wheeler Flemming are the founders of VicTreeFi, a service that offers online financial education. They’re also serial entrepreneurs and have been hard at work developing their next project called FanDab: a stadium-wide bingo game played on smartphones and designed to maximize fan engagement at sports games.
Chrissy and Wheeler have already established themselves and their employee, Hannah, with VicTreeFi, an educational financial literacy tool. VicTreeFi saw success with the Girl Scouts (of which Chrissy is an alum), spawning a program partnered with 46 councils to teach professional-led badge courses in topics from entrepreneurship to fashion design. They also founded Nillie, a platform designed to empower college athletes to earn money using their name, image, and likeness.
FanDab is described by Wheeler as a “pet project” that started in 2022. Being former athletes and having previous experience working with athletic departments through their NIL software, they “liked the idea of working with fans, working with athletes, and working with the businesses who work with fans and athletes.”
“There’s a gap we’ve seen in fan experience at games,” Wheeler continued. Many sports fans have had experiences of excessive downtime during games, especially at halftimes and timeouts, and the kinds of entertainment most stadiums offer generally can only engage a small portion of the audience. “We’re just trying to engage everyone equally,” Chrissy said.
But where did bingo come from? That was Wheeler’s idea. He regularly goes to Moodright’s on Mondays for bingo night, and he says it’s always packed. He did some ad hoc market research asking friends and family and concluded that “everyone likes bingo.” At the very least, he “can’t think of anyone who’s passionately against it.” Good point.
But FanDab isn’t just about the bingo. It will also feature targeted marketing questions fans answer to opt in to the game, giving sports teams feedback specific to their audience. Questions could be, “Can we use your email address? Are you interested in thirsty Thursdays? Do you like our bathrooms?”
“That’s super valuable because right now they’re just collecting email addresses, like when you purchase a ticket, but they can’t tailor any marketing programs,” Chrissy said. Once they’ve answered a few questions, fans across the whole stadium can start a game of bingo (which is web-based; no app download required) for the chance to win T-shirts, free food, or any other prize a team wants to offer.
Still in the development phase, Chrissy and Wheeler are using their sports connections to communicate with college and professional teams across the southeast, but they’re specifically looking to bring it back to their home of Savannah. “Our dream of dreams is to test it out at a Ghost Pirates game,” Chrissy told me.
In the meantime, the couple and Hannah will continue to improve and run their previous web apps (and prepare for the launch of yet another!) while working on FanDab. How do they do it? According to them, it helps that they’re like-minded, yet good at different things. Wheeler is the master (self-taught) coder while Chrissy manages marketing, finance and connections. “We compliment each other really well,” Chrissy said.
Oh, and I wasn’t joking about their idea of fun. Many of us set out to manage the stress of life by “turning it off at home,” but to that they say: “We like this stuff – it’s fun!” It does, however, help that they have a great group of friends and supportive families who live close and visit often. They’re fond of many of Savannah’s local restaurants and bars and manage to find some relaxation out eating, drinking, socializing, and bowling around the city.
If you’d like to learn more about VicTreeFi’s other projects, you can read our previous stories here, and if your company is in need of web app development services, you can visit their website at https://www.victreefi.com/.