Sport Buff, a gamification and fan engagement platform, has caught the attention of betting industry investors, notably Nicklas Zajdel.
An executive and director in betting and gaming with over 15 years of experience, Zajdel has worked across several jurisdictions with a range of prominent operators.
“I’m thrilled to join Sport Buff as a partner and an investor,” said Zajdel. “I share their vision of being the global leaders in engagement and activation, for digital broadcast and live streaming – and that belief is backed with my own investment.
“Buff has an innovative product, inspiring founders, a skilled and passionate team and exceptional potential whilst the benefits to broadcasters, sports and viewers are proven. Their real-time fan engagement experience is genuinely innovative, hugely enhancing engagement and monetisation opportunities for content partners.
“Starting straight away, I look forward to working closely with founders Benn and Jonty, the Board of Buff and the whole team, adding my experience from the betting and gaming sector and contributing to product evolution, revenue generation and operational excellence.”
Zajdel’s career in betting has included tenures as Chief Operating Officer for Fortuna Entertainment Group (FEG) between October 2019 and May 2022, and VP of Business Operations at Playtech Turnkey Services between February 2012 and November 2013.
Some of his most significant roles have been at Ladbrokes Coral, working with Entain’s betting brand from November 2013 until January 2019.
He filled the positions of Director of Commercial Operations, Managing Director of Digital and Omni-Channel Director for the firm during his tenure.
Having made his investment in Sport Buff, Zajdel will become a partner in the firm, which he describes on his Linkedin channel as powering ‘live, on-demand, and archive sports video experiences to millions of users around the globe and empowers partners to create unique moments, retain viewers and monetise like never before’.
Sport Buff was founded in 2019 by Benn Achilleas and Jonty Whitehead, who serve as CEO and President respectively, and the firm secured $2.5m in seed funding in August 2022 before embarking on an engagement campaign for the FIFA World Cup.
Whitehead remarked: “We’ve known Nick for a number of years and it’s exciting that we’ll now be working with him inside Buff, as a Partner in our leadership team and as an investor, helping to drive the next stage of our growth.
“He’s taken a keen, long-term interest in the development of our products, followed our journey and clearly likes what he’s seen. We also love what he can bring to this rapidly growing business.
“Buff’s expertise across broadcast and digital engagement is well-known and Nick will add further to our commercial and operational capabilities through his extensive experience in building partnerships, understanding of data, ability to create valuable transactions and knowledge of fuelling both B2B and B2C relationships.”