FanSaves finds success through pandemic adversity

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By Nick Seebruch
FanSaves finds success through pandemic adversity
FanSaves founders Shannon Ferguson and Kris McCarthy (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – FanSaves was born and grown in the Cornwall area. The digital platform helps fans connect with their favourite brands and get deals on products for supporting them.

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Eastern Ontario, FanSaves founders Shannon Ferguson and Kris McCarthy wanted to do what they could to help local business get through this difficult time.

“Within 10 days of the shutdown announcement we had called our business advisors to discuss how the business could pivot,” said Ferguson.

One of their advisors, Kelly Bergeron, had started a gift certificate program to support businesses in Cornwall and SD&G and she gave FanSaves her blessing to pick up the idea and expand on it.

The FanSaves Helps Gift Certificate Program soon launched and came to support 632 businesses in 62 communities across Canada and generated over $34,000 with 100 per cent of the money going back to the businesses the initiative supported.

“We had businesses on the phone crying saying that they were able to pay their rent because of this program,” said Ferguson.

“Some of the businesses in the program didn’t have social media, but thanks to this program, they were able to sell gift cards through the e-commerce hub we built,” said McCarthy.

Shannon and Kris have since ended the gift card program, which they saw as a bridge to keep businesses afloat until businesses began to re-open.

They are now focused on FanSaves and promoting the the shop local movement.

Their app and newly updated website has helped their clients connect with their customers digitally through offering discounts, deals, and even push notifications about deals for those walking by brick and mortar stores.

FanSaves recently launched a new partnership with Collegiate Sports Ltd., an organization involved with over 2400 properties including professional and college sports teams.

They are also in the midst of gaining significant investment, opening a seed round with the goal of raising $1 million CAD.

“We’ve been laying the groundwork for investment by bootstrapping to this point,” said Ferguson. “As difficult as COVID has been, it has allowed us to show our true colours and push through. It has shown our clients how important digital sponsorship and assets are.”

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