Russell Wilson Co-Founded Free-Play Prediction Game Gets Funding from Gaming Firm

A sports technology company co-founded by NFL star quarterback Russell Wilson that has developed a free-to-play predictive game announced this past week it has closed on a $4 million round of seed funding, and an online gaming-focused venture capital firm co-founded by Jim Murren and Chris Grove led the investors.

New Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson talks with reporters at an offseason voluntary camp the team held last month. Wilson also is a co-founder of Tally, a developer of free-to-play games that help sports teams, leagues, and advertisers learn more about their customers’ behavior. (Image: Denver Broncos/Twitter)

Tally Technology offers its predictive game as a white-label product for professional sports teams, leagues, media outlets, and other brands. Among the sports teams that have partnered with Tally include the Los Angeles Rams, the Green Bay Packers, the Buffalo Bills, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, and CONCACAF – soccer’s governing body for North America, Central America, and the Carribean.

Since it launched four years ago, Tally has tallied more than 20 million predictions from unique consumers across the Western Hemisphere. As consumers engage in the free-to-play games and make their predictions, Tally collects that data and provides clients with insights on consumer brand preferences, spending habits, and wagering.

The funding round, which actually surpassed the company’s $4 million goal, will allow Tally to further invest in its data platform and develop more games.

Leading the series seed investment in Tally is Acies Investments, a venture capital firm focused on the sports betting, iGaming, esports, and sports technology sectors. It was established two years ago by managing partners Dan Fetters, Edward King, Grove, and Murren.

Tally About More Than Gaming

Tally CEO Brad Vettese said in a statement that his company provides a critical resource for companies that invest in sports sponsorships.

Each year almost $50 billion is spent globally on sports sponsorship with little way to measure the brands’ resonance, and no real accountability in its ability to build a sustainable, valuable relationship with fans,” he said. “Tally builds that critical bridge.”

Vettese added that companies like AmBev use the first-party data Tally provides to “build and own direct, one-to-one relationships with their beer customers.”

About Acies Investments

Fetters and King both have 20 years of experience at Morgan Stanley. They also led Acies Acquisition Corp., which became the vehicle for PLAYSTUDIOS Inc. to go public last year.

Grove founded PlayUSA, a gaming affiliate marketing company that Catena purchased five years ago. He currently leads American Affiliate and is a partner at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a consulting and research firm where Grove oversees the sports betting sector.

Murren is the former chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, where he served in an executive role for more than 20 years. He announced plans to leave MGM in February 2020, but he left sooner than expected after Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak picked him to lead a state task force for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Fetters said Tally’s team has developed “an exceptional system of fan engagement and data management” that surpasses what “simple prediction games of the past” have offered.

Acies also sees that the value Tally’s product goes beyond gaming.

“We recognize that North American sports betting operators are the primary audience for this rich fan data, but the addition of sponsors looking for meaningful activation on a global basis is truly game changing,” Fetters said.

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