Drew Mitchell and Mike Doyle pitch Rent Like a Champion, a kind of AirBnB for college football fans, in Shark Tank episode 704. Back in 2006 (two years before AirBnB was founded), Drew and another co-founder, Derrick Shenk, listed their vacant apartment on Craigslist as a weekend rental for Notre Dame games. Almost immediately, the apartment was rented, and the two forward thinking entrepreneurs had a nice little business – and income stream. In 2010, Doyle came on board with plans to expand to other college towns with the same model.
The business is relatively simple. Homeowners in college towns with big-time football programs list their home on Rent Like a Champion. People who want to spend the weekend attending “the big game” browse the listings and secure a rental. They sign an agreement, pay for the rental (including a security deposit), and get sent the details of their rental (check-in/check-out etc). Using Rent Like a Champion lets large groups stay in a single location, rather than get spread out all over town in different hotel rooms, which are often scarce on game weekends.
Homeowners pay a 15% commission to Rent Like a Champion, plus a 2.9% credit card transaction fee. As additional protection for homeowners, Rent Like a Champion has comprehensive insurance in the form of a $1,000,000 liability and structural damage policy as well as $5,000 for content that's included in each rental. Homeowners can expect an average of $1100 rent for one weekend and can list their property as often as they like during football season.
The business has really taken off since 2010. Rent Like a Champion has homes for rent in 21 college towns across the USA (there are 300 or so in South Bend alone) and they're looking to double that in the next year. They likely want a Shark to help them scale the business.
Will a Shark champion this business?
Rent Like a Champion Shark Tank Recap
Drew and Mike enter seeking $200K for 10% of the business. They paint a picture of an idyllic football weekend that's tainted by the group splitting up to go to a crappy hotel. During their pitch, Chris Sacca looks serious.
Robert wants to know the difference between Rent Like a Champion and AirBnB. They explain that most of their property owners live in small, college towns. They use a lot of digital marketing to create interest and then go visit in person – much like a college recruiter. As soon as someone asks about damage to the rented homes, Lori goes out. Drew explains that only 1.9% of their rentals have a damage claim and the average damage is $98
When they get down to explaining how they make money, they reveal they processed $6.4 million in transactions last year, netting the company $1.4 million in revenue and $915K in profit. That's up from $2.5 million in transactions in 2014.
Sacca brings up AirBnB and asks if they're competing with them. Mike explains they aren't, because Rent Like a Champion has inventory in markets AirBnB isn't in. They further explain that they make money by taking a 15% commission from owners and an 8% surcharge from renters. Drew is so excited at this point that Kevin says he might spontaneously combust!
They haven't raised any money yet so far, the company has grown by word of mouth from people who rent. They have plans to expand to 43 college towns that average 53,000 travelers per home game. Upon hearing that, Kevin offers $200K for 10%. Chris Sacca immediately matches it and says he'd like Mark to go in with him. Mark says he HATES Notre Dame, and Drew hesitates. Mark says he's looking a gift horse in the mouth and Drew says he has one condition on doing the deal: they all have to tailgate together!
RESULT: Deal with Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca for $200K for 10% of the company.
Rent Like a Champion Shark Tank Update
The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. Rent Like a Champion gets an update segment in season 8, episode 809.
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Rent Like a Champion Company Information