Technology meets sports

Amit Singh, founder of Boomer-11
Amit Singh, founder of Boomer-11

Dubai-based 21-year-old launches the Middle East-focussed sports fan engagement app — Boomer11



By Anam Khan

Published: Wed 15 Dec 2021, 10:52 AM

The economic footprint of the UAE’s burgeoning sports industry now exceeds $1.7 billion annually, a new study by Deloitte has revealed. The country’s online sports activities is at the heart of generating more buzz among the netizens.

Keeping in line with this tremendous growth, 21-year-old Amit Singh has launched an app for sports lovers and enthusiasts. Singh speaks about his journey.

“The Middle East is a sports-loving region, yet we don’t have an app locally developed in the UAE that attracts a following from the expats and the citizens. It is precisely this void that led Singh to launch his sports fan engagement app called Boomer11.

Dubai resident Singh is an avid gamer, sports enthusiast, technophile, and fitness fanatic who returned home to Dubai at the start of the pandemic from the UK where he was studying business. With remote classes, he wanted to start something of his own in his free time and wanted to do something with his passion for technology, sports and gaming.

During his research, he realised that the UAE has a great sports ecosystem in the Middle East where sports like football, cricket, and basketball are followed by millions of people and many sports events like the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021, T20 leagues, Abu Dhabi T10 league are expected to take place, but unlike the UK, US and India, there are no sports fan engagement apps with a focus on the Middle East audiences.

“It was a revelation to see that in a country like the UAE, which has more than 55 per cent of expats population from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, are cricket fanatics and that a local cricket fantasy app was non-existent,” said Singh.

He further added: “There are more than 88.6 million football enthusiasts in the region, making it by far the most popular sport in the UAE cutting across locals, GCC, westerners, and Asians. This posed itself as a great opportunity to be tapped with the fan engagement app.”

Determined to solve this problem, Singh took up the idea and started work on Boomer11. He asked his friends if they wanted to join him in this quest. This led to three Dubai residents in their 20’s co-founding the sports fan engagement platform.

Boomer11 is a mobile-first, free-to -play app that offers features such as daily fantasy sports, quiz, engagement wall, match updates, real-time scorecard where users can be more involved in the sport they love by participating in challenges, sharing and discussing sporting moments that matter to them. The daily fantasy sports feature lets users create a fantasy team based on real-life matches like IPL, football leagues to score maximum points and win exciting prizes or Boomer coins. Boomer coins can be redeemed for prizes or branded merchandise on the app.

Explaining about the new app, Singh emphasised on the importance of online engagement of sports. “Boomer 11 is a platform for the geeks of sports. They can participate in challenges, sharing and discussing sporting moments that matter to them. Sports engagement apps either focus on sports news or sports betting or one sport. ”

The app is co-founded by Amit Singh, Parth Vinod, Umang Ashar and mentored by Devesh Mamtani and Darshan Chhabria. Apart from the co-founding team, Boomer11 has assembled a small team of young sports and technology enthusiasts for content and technology in the UAE and India.

“Unlike many international sports apps, which either focus on sports news or sports betting or one sport, we wanted to provide a highly interactive and skilled gamified experience for multiple sports adapted for the sports fan in the Middle East region all in one app,” explained Singh.

“Covid-19 has accelerated the underlying trend towards greater digitisation and innovation. With more than 400 live sports events taking place in the UAE, digital sports fan engagement is a great opportunity, and we want to be the pioneer in the segment,” Singh explained.

Boomer11 app largely operated in stealth mode until today, while launching its web app six months ago. Speaking about their future plans, Singh revealed: “The way we are growing right now, and amount of time spent by users and frequency of usage we are seeing, the opportunity is just massive. With encouraging support from the UAE government for startups, we aspire to be one of the 20 unicorns the UAE aims to have by 2031.”

With the global e-sports market expected to be worth nearly $1.6 billion in 2023, e-sports and interactive sports are seeing massive content consumption in the region, the entrepreneur stated.

“I have spent hours playing video games which is nowadays a rewarding career option as well. We would love it if we can enable people’s e-sports career with Boomer11 in some way or the other.”

“So far, we did not spend money on marketing but to grow at a rapid pace, we recently collaborated with the Delhi Bulls, Abu Dhabi T10 team to shoot a ‘Boomer11 — pick play and win daily’ ad campaign so that we can get the word out to the sports fan in the region. Download the app now and support us in our journey,” he added.

Bootstrapped with support from family and friends, the app is bullish on a good revenue model in the next phase of its growth and expansion.

“While we continue to focus on user acquisition, we are working on some interesting revenue models where brands, sports franchises can collaborate with us to reach the Middle East sports fan and also something around sports tourism which will further enhance the experience in the region,” adds Singh.

“Being an avid gamer and sports enthusiast myself, I always wanted to create a platform for the sports ecosystem.”

The technophile, has taken his love for sports beyond one’s imagination. Talking about their humble beginning, Singh added: “Boomer 11 has been a dream project for many of us and to nurture it we haVE put in our efforts, time, money and hard work. To strengthen our operations, we initially raised funds from friends and family and as of now we are adding user base and increasing our reach in the middle east region. In the future, for scaling up the business model we may seek external funding.”

Boomer 11 currents holds the 15,000+ users on the platform. Speaking about their expansion plans, Singh added: “While 80 per cent of our users are from the UAE, we intend to take the new app to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Oman AND Kuwait.”

Comparing the Middle East market with others, Singh highlighted, “There are 100+ fantasy apps in India, which provide sports fans to participate in fantasy contests. There are 130 million users in India where 80 per cent of the users play for free, 60 per cent of the users in 25-40 age bracket.”

“For other countries, the fantasy apps are tournament-focused. The GCC countries do not have dedicated apps for daily fantasy league in cricket and football. Sports fans follow the game on apps such as Cricbuzz and 365Scores in the region. No app currently provides a complete ecosystem for cricket and football that caters to all audiences in the Middle East,” Singh said.

Based on PWC Middle East’s sports survey, enhanced sports fan engagement is a massive opportunity. Singh knows his market and added on reaching to the target audience. “We would like to make the right investments and collaborate with the right brands/partners to reach a strong audience of 90 million sports enthusiasts in the region.”

Boomer 11 has collaborated with Delhi Bulls — Abu Dhabi T10 team to promote the app in the Middle East region
Boomer 11 has collaborated with Delhi Bulls — Abu Dhabi T10 team to promote the app in the Middle East region

Being one-of-its-kind, Boomer 11 is the first mover in the region providing the young gamers with the regional online sports fan engagement platform, where they can play, enjoy, and even compete with the peers and establish a connect. With many popular sporting events expected in 2022, Singh outlines his first milestone, which is to reach 500,000 users in the coming year.

While online sports and gaming industry is growing rapidly, cyber security is often at risk. Talking about their practises to secure data, Singh said: “We have implemented policies and procedures, which are in line with leading global practices related to security and privacy. We take the security and confidentiality of our users very seriously and ensure the data is securely processed, accessed and stored within and outside the organisation.”

Singh also highlighted an important part on incentivising their users. “We let users create a fantasy team based on real-life matches like IPL, football leagues to score maximum points and win exciting prizes or Boomer coins. We also handed out prizes such as gold coins, TVs, e-commerce vouchers during the recent IPL and T20 World Cup.”

Singh plans to keep the core feature of the app free to play and plans to concentrate on other models for revenue. “Boomer11 is an app developed out of passion and love for innovation and technology. Our team is young and dynamic. The total staff strength in the UAE and India is 18 people with 70 per cent of the team below 24 years of age.”

Explaining the business and revenue model, Singh said: “While we continue to focus on user acquisition, we are working on some interesting revenue models where brands and sports franchise can collaborate with us to reach the Middle East sports fan as well as sports tourism which will further enhance the experience in the region. We are also working on an online sports store which is targeted to the users of the platform.”

Boomer 11 is a user-friendly app and is also available in Arabic. Boomer11 has now launched its new Android app and its iOS app expected in the coming weeks. The app is available across all the countries in the region with football and cricket so far, and plans to launch basketball and e-sports soon.

The sports prodigy

The extraordinary young talent has marvelled the sports fan with his unique invention

A sports enthusiast with the mindset of the trader and hard-working by nature, Amit Singh, founder and director of Boomer11, has taken his love for sports and technology to another level. After his schooling at Gems World Academy, Singh moved to the UK for his further studies but came back to Dubai just before the starting of the pandemic and is currently exploring universities options in Dubai.

Academically a Business Studies student, Singh hails from the UAE and is inclined towards sports, innovation, and technology. The entrepreneurial vision of the UAE has inspired Singh to take up the challenges and locally develop something for the sports enthusiasts in the region. Garnering his love for his interests he along with his friends worked on Boomer 11.

Describing his roles and responsibilities at Boomer11, Singh said: “I oversee partnerships and collaborations with stakeholders as well as social media and the content development. Designing the overall product roadmap and operations is something I love doing.”

Being a passionate technophile, Singh talks about the subjects that excite him at work. “I like the process of planning, building, and bringing to life products for the young audiences in the Middle East which brings together gaming, technology, and sports under one app. The ability to bring people together on a platform to communicate about their favourite sport is exciting.”

The young and dynamic entrepreneur is giving a robust boost to the current e-sports industry. He is barging on the trend to make the online sports market a bigger hit. Talking about his goals for 2022, Singh added: “We want to take Boomer11 to all the GCC countries and be the sports fan engagement platform of choice for the sports enthusiast in the region.”

Talking about his personal interests, Singh said: “I personally like to spend time on blockchain technology and love to explore how that can help the sports ecosystem in the region. I also have a keen interest in cricket, gym, day trading cryptocurrency. I love going to different places and socialising.”

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