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Why I've Decided to Stop Betting and Start Trading

By Rachel Maeng Brown (@rachelmaeng)

I figured out the rights and wrongs of Sports early on. I was recruited to New Jersey’s Rutgers University as a student-athlete on the Rowing team and competed in the Big Ten. It became immediately clear to me that we had no say in how the NCAA Machine would go about using our names and accomplishments for their own marketing purposes. Any attempt by the athlete to benefit from their own hard work was met with a finger wag in the name of ‘amateurism’ and tradition.

Back then, NIL was barely a topic of conversation, and we were supposed to feel satisfied with our heavily regulated and limited-option perks. We had to play by the house rules (NCAA) and, of course, the house is never in your favor. The faces and likenesses of my colleagues on the football, basketball, and wrestling teams were plastered all over campus. Featured on the school’s athletic websites and ticket stubs. But where did the returns from their efforts go? Definitely not all to them. This is where I first learned that power is never held by the player and that I wanted to set out to democratize the sports and media industry.

To do that, I had to learn it. I spent time with The PGA Tour, Team USA Rowing, Main Events Boxing, Rutgers Football, and The New York Mets. I then set out to experience the other side of the industry with SponsorUnited, InsiderScore and ended my time officially partnering with TikTok and working with financial TikTok content creators. In 2021 I co-founded my first company, an influencer marketing agency that worked almost exclusively in the Financial Education space. We worked with brands like Turbo Tax, Public, Truebill, and more, truly understanding the ins and outs of trading apps (catch us in an upcoming documentary with WallStreetBets discussing the power of social media and financial markets). I was faced again with the reality that the power always remains with the house, in this case, the brands. Influencers are consistently underpaid for the marketing power of the content they create; the amount of brand awareness, downloads, and potential sales they produce.

Fast forward to today. I’ve co-founded an influencer marketing agency (GEN Agency) working with influencers and professional and collegiate athletes (through sponsored brand deals, NIL education and representation, events, and ventures/podcasts) to give power to the players and create a more exchange-like social media marketplace.

My journey from college athlete to a disrupter in the sports and media space has coincided with Sporttrade’s mission to upend the sports betting industry. Their goal of democratizing the betting experience for sports fans while capping the overwhelming and unfair power of The House, opens the door to a wider and more diverse demographic of bettors. As a Woman of Color myself, I want more opportunities to win and participate on an inviting platform. Sporttrade is democratizing the transfer of risks and creating more opportunities to make money and be competitive.

Clearly, our paths are aligned. For all of these reasons, I’m excited to work with the incredible people at Sporttrade, creating content, hosting our podcast and being a voice in an industry that’s starving for a different take and a different perspective. 

 I’ve taken on the house before. Let’s do it again.

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Why I've Decided to Stop Betting and Start Trading

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