Exclusive Interview of Steve Madincea of Fantastec Sports. Edited by Powered Magazine
In the ever-evolving landscape of sports technology, few individuals have made as profound an impact as Steve Madincea. As the Managing Partner of Fantastec Sports Technology Ltd., Steve has pioneered groundbreaking solutions that are transforming the way we engage with sports. With a deep passion for both sports and technology, Steve has bridged the gap between these two worlds, introducing innovative platforms and experiences that enhance fan engagement, athlete performance, and sports business operations. In this exclusive interview with Powered Magazine, we have the privilege of diving into the dynamic world of Steve Madincea.
Tell us about yourself and your business.
I Steve Madincea, started my current business Fantastec Sports Technology with my business partner Simon Woollard in 2018. We identified few sports enterprises were using technology effectively to engage with the massively growing digital first sports fan base.
What were your biggest challenges when starting your business?
The greatest challenge was convincing many within the sports sector of the upside they could have by focusing on emerging digital sports fans. They mostly thought of engagement as in-stadium and were just learning about the powers of social media. When we demonstrated our various MVPs, they were blown away, and I think many of the products were probably over their heads.
How have you handled success and failure over the course of your career?
The exact same! Don’t let your ego get too big when you have success, nor should you allow yourself to get too low when failure occurs. Instead try and enjoy the challenges every failure brings.
What strategies do you use to stay competitive in a changing market?
We employ multiple strategies to stay competitive in our rapidly changing market. The first thing we do is have constant dialogue with current and future customers to understand what is on their minds. The second is to keep an open mind to the various solutions coming onto the market. Never “pooh-pooh” a competitor’s approach or product. Instead, try to understand it and see what learnings you can get from their perspective.
What motivations drive you to keep pushing forward in the face of adversity?
Whenever we get great DMs or email notes from fans, which is quite often, we know all of our hard work is paying off. That’s why we share all customer input far and wide throughout our team.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their chosen field?
Never join something where you know all the answers. The professional challenge of looking for the right answer to customer issues can rarely be beat. Pushing yourself and learning new skills are equally motivating.
How have technological advances affected the way you conduct business/operate your venture?
Almost every day we discuss new tools and tech that can help us serve our customers better. During a recent AI workshop, we uncovered four distinct areas where we could apply AI and/or machine learning to make our products, features, and processes better.
In what ways has customer feedback/response influenced how you prioritize goals/objectives for your business/venture?
Customer feedback has been our backbone from day one. But you must understand that different customers like to engage in different ways. While Discord was popular for a long time, hardcore crypto enthusiasts embraced it, chasing away many authentic sports fans. So, we have tried to create varying feedback and engagement platforms for different constituencies.
What trends do you see emerging in your industry that are likely to shape its future growth and development?
As Web3 opportunities emerge, it quickly becomes evident that there are more solutions to customers problems this year than there were last year. So our product has quickly evolved and now offers more utilities than it did just six months ago. I think that rapid responses to sports fans needs will continue to accelerate change for us and others.
What have been the most rewarding and difficult aspects of your chosen career/business path?
The most rewarding by far has been having a hand in developing bright young people. It is so great to watch them grow and then go on to bigger and better things for themselves than they ever imagined. Maybe the most difficult are the people who don’t want to change. They are often older. They don’t feel the need or the desire to re-invent their working ways, and that is kind of sad.
Are there any skills or areas of expertise that you think are essential for success in your field?
Keep an open mind and never stop learning. When you work at a pioneering enterprise like Fantastec you must be open-minded about any solution as things have been and will continue to change so quickly.
How has working remotely or online impacted your business/venture over the past year?
I am going to go on record and say that remote working is overrated. As someone who has had horrible commutes, I get the novelty of exchanging that commute for some extra “me” time. But all great businesses were built by teams. Teams are in direct conflict with me. We may never go back to five days per week in a big city office. But I think full remote working will ultimately become known as a fad like the Rubik’s cube!
What tips would you like to offer to others who are in a similar position to you but looking to take their careers/business further?
Get out and engage with people. There is so much wisdom in the world, and it is yours and there for the taking. Through my formative years, I created a “mantra” where I wanted to learn something new from every person I met. Sometimes it is something bad about their working practises, but at least I learn it! People are what make business fascinating, and only by meeting with them can you truly learn.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers that we haven’t already discussed?
All entrepreneurial businesses are tough, and they should be, or else everyone would be doing them. You will have setbacks. Don’t dwell on them. Instead, deal with them, learn what you can, and move forward. Never ever stop moving forward as a professional, as a team, or as an enterprise. Constantly moving forward is at the epicentre of your professional growth.