Silicon Valley investors launch San Francisco Deltas


Silicon Valley and Brazil entrepreneurs are launching the San Francisco Deltas, a professional soccer team in that city. Led by Colombian-born entrepreneur, Brian Andrés Helmick, the investor group includes individuals from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Felicis and Precursor. The Deltas will begin playing in February 2017.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, March 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — A group of entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley andBrazil announced today a new professional soccer team will be coming to San Francisco. The new team, named the San Francisco Deltas, the city’s only professional club, will begin play in February 2017.
The San Francisco soccer startup is led by Colombian-born entrepreneur, Brian Andrés Helmick.
“Today is a great day for Bay Area soccer and sports fans alike,” said Brian Andrés Helmick, SF Deltas CEO. “This game — soccer, fútbol, football — is one that unites us all, crossing all boundaries whether geographical, religious or socio-economic. Now fans of the world’s largest sport will have an opportunity to experience it played at the highest level right here in the heart of the City.”
The team is funded by a diverse group of investors who have helped build companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal, Twitter and Yahoo. The investor group also includes individuals from venture capital firms including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Felicis and Precursor. Finally, the investor group counts on entrepreneurs from Brazil who bring their expertise from the country with the most World Cup wins and the birthplace of some of the greatest players of all time.
“Timing is everything and current awareness of global soccer teams and players by Americans is at its peak,” said Emily Melton, Deltas investor and Partner at venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. “The trend of average stadium attendance for pro soccer is not only outpacing, but in some cases surpassing that of the NBA and NHL.”
Given its tech savvy fan-base, the startup plans on leveraging technology to enhance fan and player experiences, including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ticketing and Virtual Reality.
“This opportunity is at the intersection of the technology capital of the world and the biggest sport in the world,” said Charles Hudson, Deltas investor and Managing Partner at Precursor Ventures. “Whether it’s VR, AI Ticketing, or wearables, Deltas fans will experience a well-integrated level of participatory engagement that will bring them into the action.”
The name ‘Deltas’ captures the spirit of the franchise squarely rooted in the San Francisco Bay Area that is known for change and innovation. The logo is a triangle and symbol for delta which means change. The logo incorporates the “S” and “F” of “San Francisco”.
The team intends to join the North American Soccer League (NASL), an alternate league to Major League Soccer (MLS), and will compete in the U.S. Open Cup and will host friendly matches, including a pre-season match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Home matches will be played at Kezar Stadium, formerly home of the San Francisco 49ers, when they were in their startup phase. The greatest soccer player of all time Pelé even played in the stadium located in Golden Gate Park.
Deltas fans can now reserve their inaugural season tickets at sfdeltas.com and become Founding Season Ticket Members for an initial deposit of $50 per person. The stadium only has capacity for approximately 10,000 fans, so the inaugural season is expected to be sold out. Accessibility is a priority for the Deltas, so 3,000 Discounted Tickets for $20 or less will be available, subject to first come, first serve. The team is currently running a season ticket referral program offering fans an opportunity to win up to a lifetime of season tickets.
“We are fans who feel blessed to be in a position to be running a soccer team and wanted to do something special,” said Brian Andrés Helmick, SF Deltas CEO. “The person who refers the most people to buy season tickets will win lifetime season tickets and will be assigned Founding Season Ticket Holder #1. In short, we are searching for our #1 fan.” People can also win 5-year and 1-year season tickets.
For more information, visit www.sfdeltas.com.

Take your pick!

  • Buyouts delivers exclusive news and analysis about private equity deals, fundraising, top-quartile managers and more. Get your FREE trial or subscribe now.
  • VC Journal provides exclusive news and analysis about venture capital deals, fundraising, top-quartile investors and more. Get your FREE trial or subscribe now.