Fred VanVleet and Acast partner to launch original podcast series ‘Bet On Yourself’

Fred VanVleet and Acast partner to launch original podcast series ‘Bet On Yourself’


Photo credit: Narisa Ladak / Acast

Presented by Intuit TurboTax and Intuit QuickBooks, Season 1 will feature conversations about perseverance, struggles, and success with up-and-coming BIPOC entrepreneurs in Canada

NBA champion Fred VanVleet and Acast are launching Bet On Yourself, an original podcast where VanVleet and his business partner and mentor, Derek Folk, host inspiring conversations with emerging entrepreneurs about the obstacles and opportunities they encounter while breaking through in their industries. The 12-episode series will premiere November 3, with the exclusive sponsor in Canada as Intuit Inc. [Nasdaq: INTU], the global technology platform that makes TurboTaxQuickBooks, Credit Karma, and Mint.

Official podcast cover art, created by artist Josh Awol

The launch brings a powerhouse to the world of podcasting. VanVleet’s extraordinary story — from an undrafted athlete to NBA champion for the Toronto Raptors and the highest paid undrafted player in NBA history — has captured the hearts of countless Canadians and Americans. The podcast embodies the 27-year-old entrepreneur and professional basketball player’s iconic mantra — “bet on yourself” — in his mission to inspire others to find the necessary strength and wisdom to overcome adversity.

“Nearly five years ago, I stepped outside my comfort zone and opened a business for the first time. No doubt mistakes were made, but having the kind of mentorship that I did from my business partner and co-host, Derek Folk, was critical to our eventual success,” said VanVleet.

“With this podcast, we hope to pay it back and empower the BIPOC community here in Canada and beyond by bouncing around ideas, helping to solve problems, and giving these incredible entrepreneurs a powerful platform from which they can grow their businesses. I wanted everyone to be able to hear the important conversations we’re having, which is why I partnered with Acast to make sure the show is available to listeners on any and every podcast platform.”

In each episode, VanVleet and Folk sit down with a budding BIPOC entrepreneur in Canada. The co-hosts dive into their guest’s journey, offering strategic business advice and motivation to help them achieve their goals. The conversations provide listeners with useful insights, encouragement, and a roadmap for success in their own pursuits.

“Our primary goal is to help BIPOC entrepreneurs launch and operate successful businesses,” said co-host Folk, Chief Operating Officer of Los Angeles-based Folk Williams Financial Management.

As part of Acast’s commitment to the open podcasting ecosystem, Bet On Yourself will be available for audiences to access using any podcast player, including Apple PodcastsSpotifyAmazon, Google Podcasts, Overcast, and many more. Following Acast’s wide release of Episode 1 on November 3, new episodes will be published every Wednesday.

“People who are looking to rise to new heights on their own paths have so much to gain through the astonishing, monumental lessons Fred and Derek share in mentoring ambitious entrepreneurs,” said Heather Gordon, Managing Director, Canada at Acast. “The NBA superstar’s dedication to self-actualization and personal betterment is symbiotic with Acast’s own mission to empower all creators, no matter how big or small. It was important to us to make this podcast available everywhere, across all platforms, so that there are no barriers and no obstacles to accessing these life-changing conversations.”

VanVleet and Folk seek out people who not only aim to build businesses that are lucrative, but are also making a positive cultural impact. The first season will feature 12 Canadian entrepreneurs, including:

  • Baba Ajayi, CEO of Andie, a digital platform that helps small businesses deliver express service experiences to customers
  • Tammy Yui Coyne, co-founder of Partial, an art rental marketplace for Canadian artists and collectors
  • Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow, founder of Birch Bark Coffee, a coffee company that funds clean water initiatives for Indigenous communities
  • Veneise George, owner of Yawdi’s, a Jamaican-inspired condiment and marinade company
  • Nate Behar, wide receiver for the Ottawa Redblacks and co-founder of ATNMY, an influencer marketing company connecting athletes and brands

“We’re thrilled that Intuit is the exclusive sponsor of Bet On Yourself in Canada, giving us the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits our TurboTax and QuickBooks products deliver to entrepreneurs,” said David Marquis, VP and Country Manager at Intuit Canada. “Hearing advice first-hand from a passionate entrepreneur, like Fred VanVleet, allows us to support them in new, innovative and personable ways.”

TurboTax supports Canadians tackling taxes at any stage of their life journey, whether they are self-employed, years into their professional life, taking on their taxes for the first time or could use the help of a tax expert. QuickBooks provides small businesses with the insights they need to run their business through a connected suite of business tools — including Payments, Payroll, and cash flow capabilities.

This follows the recent announcement with Intuit TurboTax as the Toronto Raptor’s exclusive Personal and Business Tax Software, further extending the brand’s partnership within the NBA.

The branded segments are created in partnership with Acast Creative, the company’s in-house creative solution for brands. The podcast will support host-reads and premium ad products.

Photo credit: Narisa Ladak / Acast

VanVleet is represented by Par-Lay Sports and Entertainment, and the deal was brokered by Max A. Tremblay at Westwood Creative Artists.

Bet On Yourself is produced by Tremblay, James Stewart, Lili Daniels, Chris Letts, David Draper, Videsh Umadas, Jocie Bentley, Ashley Fleischer, Acast’s Narisa Ladak, and Par-Lay Content’s Trace Sheehan, Sonya Vaughn, and Christian Dawkins. The cover art was created by the artist Josh Awol.

Fans can subscribe to the podcast and listen to the trailer now, wherever they get their podcasts.

About Acast

Acast was founded in 2014 and is one of the most eminent podcast platforms, and a pioneer in the open podcast ecosystem, connecting all podcasting stakeholders to one common software infrastructure.

Through its infrastructure, Acast allows advertisers to efficiently target an engaged audience of listeners through dynamic ad insertion, while podcasters are given access to a range of monetization opportunities and the necessary tools to expand their listener base.

The company has a global footprint across 12 countries and, during 2020, had approximately three billion listens on Acast-connected podcasts. Today, Acast hosts more than 30,000 shows.

Acast’s headquarters are located in Stockholm, Sweden and the Company has nine local subsidiaries including UK, US, Australia, Norway, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico and Canada.

In recent years, Acast has undergone an expansion with continued strong growth, with net sales increasing from $21 million USD in 2018 to $66 million USD in 2020. As a result of Acast’s recent growth initiatives, the number of listens grew from approximately one billion (2018) to three billion (2020). In the second quarter of 2021, Acast had 880 million listens and an organic net sales growth of 130%.

Acast was co-founded by Johan Billgren, its current Chief Product and Tech Officer, and is listed on the Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market.

Certified Adviser is FNCA Sweden AB, info@fnca.se, +46 (0) 8528 00 399.

About Par-Lay Content

Par-Lay Content is the creative arm of Par-Lay Sports & Entertainment, a talent management company which launched in 2021, and is in development on a slate of TV, film and new media projects. Par-Lay Content’s mission is to produce impactful subject matter intended to empower the voice and perspective of its clients by telling their stories across the constantly changing content landscape — no matter the format, genre, medium or distribution platform. Par-Lay Content was founded by Christian Dawkins, and helmed by co-Heads of Content, Trace Sheehan and Sonya Vaughn.

Media Contact

Contact Ryan Hatoum, US PR Manager at Acast, at ryan.hatoum@acast.com

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