Tokenizing celebrities for funding and promoting rising stars


10. Sep 2017


Min/Max cap

TokenStars is a blockchain company that tokenizes the careers of aspiring celebrities. TokenStars aims to disrupt the global talent development industry by providing funding resources to rising stars in sports and show-business while decentralizing talent sourcing and promotion worldwide. TokenStar’s first project is ACE, designed to support promising tennis players on their way to becoming prominent tennis stars. ACE will introduce tennis fans to the blockchain world, letting them be a part of the next Federers’ and Sharapovas’ success. In later stages, TokenStars will launch new verticals to support football, poker, basketball, and hockey stars, as well as actors, musicians, and models.

TokenStars was founded by CEO Pavel Stukolov, a Russian investment professional (with a total valuation of assets exceeding $95 million), working with marketing director Irina Shashkina (formerly CMO at Groupon Russia and Biz Dev Executive at Rambler&Co) and scouting analyst Anton Vdovin (an MSc in International Business and winner of math and chemistry student championships who has played tennis at regional tournaments).

Advisory Board

  • Anastasia Myskina – Professional Tennis Player – No. 2 in WTA ranking. Roland Garros champion (Grand Slam tournament), the winner of 2 Federation Cups and 21 international tournaments. Current Russian Federation Cup team captain, Vice-president of the Russian Tennis Federation.
  • Sergey Demekhine – Coaching & Scouting Advisor – Tennis coach with 8 years of experience, retired ATP tennis player, Vera Zvonareva’s head coach in 2010-2011 (No.2 in WTA rankings, rising from No.22 in the beginning of coaching) – Wimbledon & US Open 2010 singles finalist, Australian Open 2011 semi-finalist. A-level GPTCA certification holder (Global Professional Tennis Coach Association).
  • Maya Kurilova – Talent Management Advisor – Former Operational Director at Octagon (Top 3 global TMA) with 11 years of experience in talent management. Marketing Manager at Kremlin Cup. Agent of Anna Kournikova, Elena Dementieva (Olympic Gold medalist, ?.3 in WTA), Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina (both in Top 5 WTA Doubles, Champions of Wimbledon 2017, Roland Garros 2013, US Open 2014).

Additional business advisors include investor Elena Masolova, Ksenia Chabanenko, and Alexander Stratilatov.  

According to Stukolov, “At the moment, the top 10 athlete management agencies have $1.19B in yearly commissions and 3,731 years of contracts signed. The industry is bigger than the GDP of Serbia, Bahrein, Brunei or Cyprus. ACE disrupts this market, decentralizing it and sharing the value among the community.” The project’s advisors agree that funding is an issue for aspiring athletes, one which the ACE project can help to solve. “Lack of funding is a typical problem which almost all tennis stars faced as juniors. Their funding options are limited by parents’ money, loans from friends, and small grants from local tennis federations and talent management agencies. The top 10 TMAs have over $25B in contracts under management and have a monopoly on deciding who is going to have a career and who is not. Mistakes based on gut feeling are inevitable in this process. As a crowdfunded project, ACE has the potential to disrupt tennis talent representation and protect rising stars from being overlooked,” says Sergey Demekhine. “Aspiring tennis players need approximately $100K a year to build a career. Some have to put everything at stake – just like Olympic medalist and 5x Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, who came uninvited from Russia to Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida at the age of 9. Her father had to work as a dishwasher just to cover her bills. Later she earned $36.5M in prize money and $285M in sponsorship deals. With ACE, young players like Maria Sharapova can get funding for academy costs, coaches, sparring partners, and tournament participation, as well as help with signing sponsorship agreements,” says Elena Masolova.

ACE will provide funding and promotion resources to young aspiring tennis players at the critical junior age, significantly increasing their chances for success, as well as representation and promotion for established (pro) tennis players. The project has already signed its first contract with an established professional player – Veronika Kudermetova, winner of 19 international tournaments (No. 66 in WTA ranking in doubles, top 200 in singles). A successful initial sale will allow ACE to support at least 20 tennis players and 2-5 established professionals. Depending on the results of the token sale, ACE might manage to sign several full-time coaches and open a small academy for ACE juniors.

TokenStars intends to build global decentralized scouting and promotion networks, where talent selection and promotion are based on athletic merit. Analytics will be used to track athletes’ progress and key decisions will be made through a democratic process involving all token holders. Blockchain technology will allow fans to collectively support athletes, and to decentralize the key processes of scouting and promotion, thereby lowering the costs dramatically and shifting most of the created value to the community. The added value to token holders can be in exclusive communication with the stars, one-on-one training, VIP tickets to events, signed merchandise, business endorsements well below market price, etc. The project has well-balanced stimuli for talent sourcing (paying a referral fee to tennis coaches as high as their annual salary) and promotion (up to 10% of the first contract with an advertiser), including appropriate compensation for intermediate steps (even if a player wasn’t selected, or a contract wasn’t signed) which should provide a high-quality flow of candidates. The project will also provide scouts and promoters with tools and tutorials.

The ERC20 compatible ACE token will provide voting rights in the project’s DAO decision-making mechanism and serve as the fundamental unit of account and method of payment for all activities on the platform, including payment to agents, for which an established minimum compensation (pegged to US Dollars) will eliminate exchange volatility risks. On the horizon, immediately following the ACE tokens for the tennis vertical, are GOAL tokens for football (soccer), and a poker platform is also underway. TokenStars will allow swapping of sport-specific tokens (ACE for tennis, GOAL for football, and others later) for the general STAR index token, so early supporters will get a priority seat in the launching verticals.

Crowdsale Details

Start Time 10-September-2017
End Time 31-October-2017
Total Supply 165,000,000 Tokens (99,000,000 of them available to the public)
Maximum Raise $15,000,000
Pricing Structure 1 ACE = 0.0001 BTC

For every 60 tokens sold, 20 additional tokens will be issued and retained for the team, partners and advisors, and 20 additional tokens will be issued and retained for the community.

Holding of Funds N/A

Project Highlights

Technical White Paper       ACE whitepaper is comprehensive and detailed business and functionality plan.
Team Very lean configuration (only 3 core team members – executive, marketing, and analytics), albeit with very professionally strong advisors. Unclear who is responsible for tech development and blockchain dev in particular.
Location N/A
Blockchain Ethereum
Project Code N/A
Prototype N/A, but the company claims to have signed their first pro contract, and visualizations are available.
Token Rights Voting rights, unit of account and method of payment for all activities on the platform, including payment to agents (with an established minimum compensation pegged to US Dollars).

*Disclosure – At the time of writing, cryptorated staff owned no TokenStars tokens.

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