Thayer Lavielle, an govt on the Wasserman company/advertising and marketing firm, spent a few of her free time the previous yr or so serving as an adviser to SOS, a startup that manufactures merchandising machines for sports activities arenas and different venues. SOS’s machines provide well being and wellness merchandise, a lot of that are geared toward girls.
After attending to know the founders, Susanna Twarog and Robina Verbeek, and their marketing strategy, Lavielle thought it might make sense for Wasserman to put money into SOS. She approached Darren Ross, managing director of Wasserman Ventures, the corporate’s just lately launched affiliate, and he was offered on the concept.
Wasserman Ventures participated in SOS’s $7.6 million funding spherical, which was introduced final month. It was the second funding for Wasserman Ventures, following its April funding within the Circuit Racing Worldwide Tour, a biking sequence that skilled racer and Wasserman shopper Justin Williams based.
“I believed, ‘Listed below are two unimaginable girls founders who’re making a product that’s accessible and handy that ensures everybody in a venue feels served and welcomed and valued and catered to,’” stated Lavielle, who was named to SOS’s board of administrators. “That’s by no means been achieved earlier than, notably for ladies, but in addition for male customers which might be on this venue. It felt like a little bit of a no brainer for me at the very least to serve that as much as the Wass Ventures staff.”
Lavielle, a former lacrosse and ice hockey participant at Colgate College, has labored at Wasserman since 2011. She is at the moment govt vp of The Collective, a Wasserman subsidiary that launched in 2019 to push for gender fairness in sports activities and leisure. The Collective has a consulting apply that works with firms on gender fairness points, the significance of getting girls in management positions and the way having a extra equitable work pressure can drive higher enterprise efficiency.
The Collective additionally has a suppose tank in collaboration with 22 faculties, the place it really works with researchers and publishes stories and information and insights on girls’s roles in sports activities and leisure.
“It has been actually essential for us to know who She is, capital S, as a shopper, as a fan, as a purchaser of all issues as a result of finally she is driving the financial system going ahead,” Lavielle stated. “Understanding her not solely via a sports activities lens or a music lens, however understanding her via a human lens and her consumption habits, is mission essential. That is actually why SOS is such an essential funding for us.”
SOS has greater than 100 merchandising machines in venues comparable to Fenway Park in Boston, FLA Dwell Enviornment in Dawn, Fla. and TIAA Financial institution Subject in Jacksonville, Fla. in addition to Rockefeller Middle in New York and Boston Kids’s Hospital. The machines provide gadgets comparable to hair ties and clips, deodorant, dental floss and dry shampoos for a payment, plus free interval care merchandise for ladies.
Wasserman has a consultancy and advertising and marketing arm that works with sports activities arenas and different venues, so the concept is that SOS can use these connections to get their merchandising machines extra extensively distributed.
“(SOS) is a pure funding for us as a result of it sits adjoining to a lot of our enterprise when it comes to not solely The Collective when it comes to mission-focused and actually serving to to serve customers and notably girls out of their every day life,” Lavielle stated. “However it additionally sits adjoining as a result of we may help scale their enterprise via so most of the venues during which we get to collaborate with and work with every day.”