Creating a new and better way to access sports stars
The story of a simple idea for a big problem
Booking sports stars was time consuming, confusing and out of reach for most. Then two athletes got together and changed the game.
Opportunities for Athletes
When Pickstar co-founder James Begley was playing AFL, he wasn’t among the top few athletes commanding big money sponsorship deals. Like most of his teammates, James was on the lookout for more paid opportunities, and the chance to broaden his experiences and engage with the community.
Following his sporting career, James joined the corporate world and found there was a huge demand to engage sports stars, but few people knew how.
Some would spend hours calling and emailing player managers, others would ask their friends if they knew any athletes who would "help out", or they would try and contact sports stars via social media. Many people gave up, thinking that they couldn’t afford a sports star.
Finding a Simpler Booking Process
The booking process was a headache for the community and athletes alike. Seeing the problem from both sides, James began planning a centralised marketplace that would help people connect with sports stars, and handle the process from start to finish.
He took the idea to Matthew Pavlich, an AFL legend and former President of the AFL Players Association, and the duo set about developing the website, signing up athletes and building the business.
James' hunch was right. The community and sports stars embraced PickStar, which quickly became known as the most trusted platform for facilitating paid engagements large and small.
PickStar has formed strategic partnerships with the AFL Players Association, Australian Basketballers’ Association, Professional Footballers Australia, Australian Netball Players Association and New Zealand Cricket Players Association, organisations that share in PickStar’s vision to open up access and create more commercial opportunities with elite athletes.
With offices in New York and London, PickStar’s reach is truly global and with expansion into new star categories including chefs, media and wellness influencers, PickStar can find a meaningful connection for any business and any opportunity.
James began his career playing AFL with St. Kilda and Adelaide, before moving into leadership development where he has advised high profile organisations including CGU, Bendigo Bank, Fremantle Football Club, Mirvac and Landcorp. This crossover between elite sport and the corporate world led to the development of the PickStar idea.
Regarded as Fremantle Football club's most respected and admired player and an AFL legend, Pav is the former President of the AFL Players Association and has commercial relationships with Fox Sports, Nine Entertainment and Kia. While playing in the AFL, he also completed a Bachelor of Science and and Masters of Business Administration from University of Western Australia.