Embily is a consistent supporter of action sports and events, such as MMA fights, rollerblading, wakeboarding, etc. In this interview with Alexander Bychkov, Embily founder and CEO, we'll find out why it's a reasonable investment and the right time to introduce crypto to athletes and sports fans around the world.
Alexander used to be a professional rollerblader, starting back in the ‘90s. With a passion for technology from his young years, he also founded the #1 online media resource for skateboarding, snowboarding, and BMX in Russia. The website covered competitions, equipment supply and reviews, social features, etc. Later, he sold the project, and is currently focused on business development and brand recognition at Embily. Still, he caters to people involved in sports, and it seems to be the right decision. Here's why.
Alexander, featuring a metal Embily VISA cardAlt: Embily Supports Action Sports and MMA Fights.
Q: Hi, Alexander. Why do you support action sports?
What's up guys! Thank you for your attention to this part of our business. Action sports have always been on the edge of new technology, emerging markets, and competitive yet friendly communities. If you're into that, you achieve new results every day: every new trick, move, skill, and achievement adds to your experience and influence in the community. Of course, you have to work hard with a constant focus on improvement. People in action sports are extremely audacious: they thrive to adopt new technology that can help them do what they do, yet on the next level.
Cryptocurrency is also all about innovation and being on the cutting edge. Like the speed climbing discipline, which was included at the Olympics in 2020, crypto is also on the rise toward wide adoption by all countries, companies, stores, and people in all spheres, not only IT. In fact, it'll be a revolution that'll most certainly disrupt some of the current heavy financial processes. Payments and transactions will be much quicker with fewer parties involved, with less fees, and everything will be more transparent & secure!
I think it's the right time to start introducing crypto services like Embily for early adopters. Action sports fans can get paid in crypto and spend it with a regular VISA card. Some of these athletes will most certainly win big titles, and it’s another good reason to help that happen.
Q: Can you tell us about your experience in extreme sports?
First, action sports is a more modern term than extreme sports. But yes, that’s what it was called when I saw the first X Games on TV in ‘95. It made such a huge impact on me, a teenager at the time, that I wanted to participate in the X Games one day. I talked my parents into buying me my first rollerblades to do my first tricks. When my parents supported my interests, I spent all my time after school practicing, learning tricks, and making friends with other crazy folks.
Handplant on a half pipe by Alexander, Moscow, 2000Alt: Alexander was a pro rollerblader, he’s doing an invert trick.
Also, I did a lot of research on the Internet. Remember, it was 95-96, the first steps of the World Wide Web, which had just gone global and had recently arrived in Russia. Ultimately, I learned HTML and cURL, and created the first website about rollerblading, snowboarding, and other disciplines that were all the rage at that time.
Then I created my own website about freestyle sports on a .ru domain. It attracted a community of people who had shared experience and wanted to buy equipment that we also imported from the US and Europe. Also, the portal sponsored, hosted, and provided media coverage for the competitions at that time. The project was very successful, and I eventually sold it at a good price.
After that I founded Embily, and stopped my business in action sports. Still, I enjoy wakeboarding and rollerblading, and I keep connections with event organizers and athletes.
Q: How do you decide on which sports to invest in? Can you predict which of them will boom and which will fade away?
I know for sure that MMA is on the rise, and skateboarding and snowboarding aren’t going anywhere, nor is surfing. MMA matches easily fill stadiums and attract lots of online viewers. Another important aspect is visual appeal: the more emotions viewers have, the more memorable the event will be, for them as well as for sponsors.
Wakeboard competitions in Singapore supported by EmbilyAlt: Embily supported Wakeboard competitions in Singapore. Female athletes, winner podium.
Every new discipline in sports starts with a bunch of amateurs. It can be as simple as a kid who wants to surf and adds wheels to his board when there are no waves. This is exactly how skateboarding was born. A new sports style can grow very rapidly, and in about 10 or 20 years it can encourage people around the world to get active, buy equipment, compete and make careers. It's a perfect picture of a startup that eventually skyrockets into something big and cool that everybody knows. As a result, it becomes a cultural phenomenon like Instagram or GoPro.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, sport climbing is on the rise as well. A lot of new climbing gyms are opening, and climbing shoes, ropes, and other equipment have never been in such demand as they are now. Some climbing competitions don't have many sponsors, yet the sport consistently has lots of viewers, so it may be a good investment opportunity as well.
Q: Are you guys planning to go into traditional sports like tennis, baseball, or American football/soccer one day?
Of course, we're open to all opportunities to improve our brand recognition. However, these sports already have gigantic sponsors and even some traditional ones, like Rolex at the Australian Open and Shell at F-1. As you can see, your proposal will be a drop in the ocean if you try to go there. But times are changing, and we'll see more cryptocurrency sponsors in five to ten years in big sports as well. What's the point of promoting Chase in a tennis competition when everybody uses Bitcoin? 🙂 Just kidding, but that could absolutely happen one day.
Q: Okay, last but not least, what do you want to tell young people who are getting into action sports?
Dig it. Learn from every source you can and use any piece of technology you can afford to support your professional growth, be it a Garmin tracker or an Embily VISA card connected to your crypto wallet that you can use to buy gear and pay for training. We didn’t have all that in the ‘90s and 2000s and still it was a great experience to pioneer something and most certainly it was the most vivid time of my life that I remember every day.
We’d like to thank Alexander, the CEO of Embily, for the very insightful interview. Thank you very much for answering our questions! We hope we'll meet you at some event that you and the team support!