Houston entrepreneur launches $100M SPAC, plans to target sports tech
A new SPAC — a special purpose acquisition company — has officially started trading this week, targeting $100 million in investment and looking for an innovative sports tech company to back.
SportsMap Tech Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: SMAPU) announced its initial public offering of 10,000,000 units at a price to the public of $10 per unit, and trading began on October 19. The blank-check company is led by David Gow, CEO and chairman. Gow is also chairman and CEO of Gow Media, which owns digital media outlets SportsMap, CultureMap, AutomotiveMap, and InnovationMap, as well as the SportsMap Radio Network, ESPN 97.5 and 92.5.
The SPAC, which has potential for oversubscription, plans to find a sports tech business to acquire, specifically in one of four categories within the industry: fan engagement, health and wellness, esports, or fantasy/gambling.
"With the IPO complete, we now begin the search for a company to acquire in the sports tech industry, which we define as the realm where technology is transforming sports," says Gow. "We have not been able to talk with target companies yet, but have been doing our homework to develop a list. We also plan to tap into the extensive relationships of our board."
The company is backed by an all-star team making up the board, including Oliver Luck, Reid Ryan, David Graf, and Steve Webster.
"We have assembled a really strong board," Gow says. "In addition to his great tenure at the Astros, Reid has founded banks, served as president of a minor league team and has been investing in sports tech through his family office. Oliver has held positions across multiples sports at both the professional and collegiate levels. David Graf is the founder and CEO of a very successful sports tech company, HUDL. And Steve Webster has had an extraordinary track record in business, as one of the savviest PE and public company investors in Houston.
"The group has a great complement of financial, operations, and transactions experience," he continues.
Leadership for the company also includes David Gow's son, Lawson Gow, who founded the coworking and entrepreneurship hub, The Cannon. He will serve as chief strategy officer for SportsMap Tech Acquisition Corp. Jacob Swain will be the CFO of the SPAC.
David Gow (right) is the chairman and CEO of the new SPAC, and Reid Ryan will serve on the board. Photo by Michele Lee Sparks/Archer Sparks