Connect with us


St. Pete startup inks deal with Rowdies

Mark Parker



The Tampa Bay Rowdies are joining St. Petersburg-based Spontivly's growing list of sports partners. Photo by Mark Parker.

Spontivly’s cofounders achieved multiple goals with Tuesday’s announcement that the Tampa Bay Rowdies will now utilize the St. Petersburg-based tech startup’s innovative market data analytics platform.

Marissa Huggins and Anthony Nagendraraj relocated their company from Alberta, Canada, to St. Petersburg in 2022. Huggins said the latest partnership highlights Spontivly’s growth and that its cofounders are “doubling down” on their new – and permanent – home.

The announcement underscores the local startup’s headway into the lucrative professional sports industry. Spontivly has worked with the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Dallas Mavericks since securing an investment from team owner Mark Cuban, and counts Apna Hockey, a South Asian hockey network, as a client.

“This community has been so helpful towards us since the day we moved here,” Huggins told the Catalyst. “St. Pete has continued giving, and the Rowdies are the epitome of that.”

The Rowdies play at Al Lang Stadium along St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront. Huggins called the organization a “big, local name” that has similarly committed to fostering regional partnerships.

Spontivly’s no-code dashboards will provide team officials with easily understandable insights into corporate sponsorships. The startup’s software integrates fan engagement data from several sources, including Tickets.com, LinkedIn and SalesLoft.

Huggins said the platform would show what social media posts generate the most views. It will also quantify community sentiment.

Huggins explained that sports data software typically focuses on the point of sale and a customer’s subsequent actions. “Our tool really specializes in every moment leading up to the sale,” she said.

“We try to give people a full 360-degree picture of how your customer interacted with you before it was a sale.”

Anthony Nagendraraj (second from left, second row) and Marissa Huggins (second from right, second row), cofounders of Spontivly, with team members. Photo provided.

The Rowdies are Tampa Bay’s first professional sports team, and the soccer franchise plays in the USL Championship. Huggins said team partnerships generate league-wide interest.

Spontivly is now having “early discussions” regarding a national deal with an unnamed professional league. “We’re actually going one more level up beyond just teams,” Huggins added.

Ryan Helfrick, president of the Rowdies, said in Tuesday’s announcement that Spontivly’s platform would demonstrate the “true value and impact” of sponsorships. He also stressed the importance of local partnerships.

The Rowdies share an ownership group with the Tampa Bay Rays. While ensuring a successful rollout with St. Petersburg’s soccer franchise is the “top priority,” Huggins said a partnership with the city’s baseball team “is definitely an opportunity we’re all open to – especially with a new stadium and everything.”

The Rays hope to transform Tropicana Field and its sprawling parking lots into a vibrant mixed-use district anchored by a new $1.3 billion ballpark. Huggins noted that community feedback is vital for the 30-year project. “We’ll be open to the opportunity should it present itself, but there’s nothing more I can speak to yet,” she said.

Huggins said Spontivly is preparing to launch a Series A funding round. She believes early partnerships will foster future success and said the startup has consistently scaled since relocating to St. Petersburg. The startup also closed a $2 million oversubscribed pre-seed round.

Huggins said Spontivly will “definitely” expand. However, she also noted that the current team “of underdogs absolutely crushes it.”

“And no matter what, we’ll be headquartered in St. Pete … and we will fly people out,” Huggins added. “We show them the city; we show them the place that supports us so much. And we really make sure they take in the full experience.”

She believes the Rowdies partnership is a way to begin giving back to a community that helped mitigate the challenges of relocating internationally. Huggins said it shows the city, already a “huge player in tech,” is now entering the world of sports analytics, artificial intelligence and big data.

“We’re trying to propel St. Pete’s reputation and name,” she said. “To really make sure that it’s well known that this is one of the best places to live.”

Continue Reading


  1. Avatar

    John Donovan

    May 23, 2024at8:08 pm

    Best wishes for your continued success.

  2. Avatar


    May 22, 2024at10:59 am

    Thank you to all involved for your efforts, for your commitment, dedication, and love for the Sunshine City Burg. Agree that St. Pete is one of the best places to live. Look forward to your successful growth. Here’s to many outstanding, cutting edge years ahead. RaysUp!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By posting a comment, I have read, understand and agree to the Posting Guidelines.

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

Email us: spark@stpetecatalyst.com

Subscribe for Free

Share with friend

Enter the details of the person you want to share this article with.