Sports and social media is a natural fit, given the communal nature of fandom and the myriad fine points of strategy and stats. With that in mind, two new social networks dedicated to sports are launching this week -- one targeting professional sports fans, the other targeting amateur athletes.
The first sports-oriented social network, JockTalk, launched in private beta with the support of over 60 professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS and Olympic sports. Founded by former MLB All-Star Shawn Green and digital media veteran Brendon Kensel, JockTalk is intended to provide a single place for athletes and fans to interact with each other by posting conversations, videos and photos; it also provides a forum for athletes to promote charitable causes.
For fans, it offers behind-the-scenes Q&A, photos and personal videos from athletes; teams and leagues can offer advertisers opportunities for brand integration on their social pages. All content posted on JockTalk is simultaneously published to Twitter and Facebook, and will also be syndicated to other top sports publishing sites.
At the other end of the spectrum, SportGrit.com is targeting amateur athletes who want to share their performance with other amateur athletes and enthusiasts online. SportGrit.com will consolidate amateur athletes’ stats from across the nation and allow them to compare them (also known as bragging).
Users can post photos and videos of their performance. The network will also serve as a database for coaches and recruiters looking for the next big star, essentially serving as a “LinkedIn for sports.”
Yesterday I wrote about a new social platform launched by the International Olympic Committee with the goal of bringing Olympics athletes and their fans together online. The Olympic Athletes’ Hub aggregates social media feeds from more than 1,000 Olympic athletes, including real-time updates of content from their Facebook and Twitter accounts; the site will also host online chats with athletes.
Sports marketers are mining social media for consumer intelligence. Earlier, I wrote about a new product from Fizziology, Sports Tracker, which monitors and analyzes sentiment about professional sports on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and blogs, determining what percentage of conversations about the topic are positive, negative, or neutral. The new service is intended to help teams, leagues, and event marketers refine their offerings and target fans more effectively.