Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on January 31, 2007
Last September, the DEMOFall conference was roiled by the appearance of Bono, or, as it turned out, an actor who looked an awful lot like the U2 front man. DEMO 07, the winter version of the tech conference in Palm Desert, Calif., was marked by a much quieter appearance of a thoroughly authentic Barry Bonds in a new role as tech entrepreneurs. Except for a very brief appearance on stage, the San Francisco Giants slugger stayed sequestered in a guarded meeting room, holding one-on-one meetings to promote his relationship with startup Bling Software. “I’ve always been computer savvy,” says Bonds. “Tech has always been part of my life, even while playing baseball.”
Bling Player is software that is designed to bring rich media application to a wide variety of mobile phone handsets. Bonds will use Blig to provide a mobile version of his Web site. The service is supposed to be up and running before the baseball season begins April 1 and will provide video clips of Bond’s home runs 735 through the 756 he needs to break Henry Aaron’s career record. Along the way, it may also sell some of the memorabilia Bonds sells on his Web site.
Bond’s described himself as an “investor” in venture capital-funded Bling, but turns a bit coy when asked to describe his relationship with the company. “I became a partner by bringing value to the company,” he says, suggesting that his equity is of the sweat variety. Bling also is partnering with rapper Jay-Z to mobilize his Web site.