A Look at the Future of Monetizing Fan Engagement

The fans remember the highlights but the franchises remember the technology, data, and inventions that powered their season. Host Tyler Kern sits down with the innovators, leaders and founders that are taking sports into the future.


On this episode of Salary Capped, Host Tyler Kern talked with Juliana Villalba, CEO of Rebus, a fan activation platform for sports streaming services and monetization of fan engagement. It’s used by teams in the WNBA and Chicago Sky.

The inspiration behind the launch of Rebus is a funny story. For Villalba, it was worlds colliding when she met her Co-Founder, Jose Berrio, in Columbia. It was a rainy day, and she was trying to get to the airport but couldn’t catch a ride. She jumped in front of the first taxi that drove by, and she asked the person inside where they were going, and it was the airport. The passenger? Jose.

“It was an insane thing to do here in Columbia because I didn’t know who he was,” Villalba said. “We started talking on the 45-minute drive to the airport.”

“We are creating experiences that are worth remembering,.” – Juliana Villalba

It turned out that Berrio was also a software entrepreneur and already had another company. Villalba also had another company and used to work with events, so she was interested in the industry, specifically pertaining to sports, entertainment, and corporate events. Nothing happened, but they kept in touch for two years.

Fast-forward, Berrio called Villalba with an idea for a solution involving fun, engagement, and events. With Berrio’s passion for soccer, they set out to create something that created an excellent experience for fans. The service works by engaging the fans that aren’t at the games. For example, with the Chicago Sky with millions of social media followers, only 20,000 or so attend games. The rest of the fans are at home, so engaging them through content, streaming, and other services is essential.

“We are creating experiences that are worth remembering,” Villalba said.

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