GREENVILLE, S.C. – The man who has spent the past three years redefining how people purchase tickets to college football games received the CommunityWorks’ Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award last night.
Harold Hughes is the founder and CEO of BANDWAGON, which is a Greenville-based sports technology company that captures and enhances the gameday experience for fans, teams, and brands through the use of data.
CommunityWorks is a non-profit financial organization committed to building a brighter future for underserved families and communities through financial education, lending and investing. They envision robust and vibrant communities that offer the opportunity for financial stability and economic achievement for everyone.
To be considered for the award, individuals must serve as a majority owner and operate or bear principal responsibility for operating a microbusiness, as defined by having five or fewer employees,
show a three year track record, and be under age 35. The selection criterion included evidence of success; increased employment opportunities created by the nominee’s business; development and/or utilization of innovative or creative business methods and demonstrated entrepreneurial potential necessary for long- term business success and economic growth.
Hughes is a Columbia native, who earned his bachelors’ degrees in economics and political science in 2008 from Clemson University. After working in the corporate sector, he earned his MBA from Clemson and then founded BANDWAGON in 2014. He’s currently pursuing a certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Stanford University.
“BANDWAGON uses data to help fans find their perfect seat on game day,” Hughes said. “BANDWAGON is for fans who want to sit in a family-friendly section in Death Valley or a seat in the shade at Williams-Brice. Knowing where you’re sitting and who you’re sitting around really matters when you spend hundreds of dollars for a three-and-a-half-hour experience. We want fans everywhere to get more bang for their buck.”
The company was born from his own frustrations in the college football ticketing world. BANDWAGON beta-tested its model last year during Clemson’s national championship winning season, he said. It is expanding to all five power conferences this fall with a special emphasis on the Southeast.
It recently announced a partnership with Utrip, which is an online travel planning tool that builds a curated itinerary for a given destination based on users’ schedules and interests. The new partnership fully integrates the Utrip planner into the BANDWAGON ticket buying platform. Fans can search for and purchase tickets to an away game, and then will have the option of adding additional activities to their itinerary via Utrip. The trip planner can be found here.
“We have seen a lot of growth and a lot of potential with BANDWAGON,” Hughes said. “We are honored that CommunityWorks saw that potential as well.”
BANDWAGON is a Greenville-based sports technology company that captures and enhances the gameday experience for fans, teams, and brands. Fro customizable ticket options based on fans’ needs, to curated tailgating tips and travel planning for away games, BANDWAGON harnesses the power of data to serve as an online gameday headquarters for both the casual fan and the dedicated season ticket holder. For more information, visit www.bandwagonfanclub.com, and join the community on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.