Commentary

New Social Nets Target Sports Fans

Spectator sports and social media are a natural pairing, and over the last year quite a few new social networks for sports fans have launched, built around the idea of giving fans more access to their favorite players. Following is a quick round up of some of the new platforms.

First up is BreatheSport, a new mobile platform in the U.K. founded by Barry Houlihan, the founder of Mobile Interactive Group. Currently in beta with a public rollout scheduled for later this year, BreatheSport has several different sections, including a more broadcast style area called the “lockerroom,” where players and pundits can post their responses to breaking news and live events, and a more social area, the “fan zone,” where fans and players can engage. Fans can gain more access to their favorite stars by earning rewards on BreatheSport. So far the platform has attracted $1.5 million in investments.

Another newish sports-focused social network, Fancred, recently announced that it has raised another $3 million, bringing its total funding so far to $4.5 million. Currently available as an iOS app with an Android app on the way, Fancred allows fans to share memorable moments from sporting events via pictures, gifs, and text. Fans can also follow their team’s feeds, check into venues, plan social TV watching, and post articles for their own followers to read. Along the way they build up their Fancred rating based on their activity on the platform, with various incentives to earn a higher rating and get more engaged.

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Then there’s Sportlobster, another online social platform and app with several different components. There’s a “Fanzones” section with news functions, which aims to keep fans up to date with scores and blogs from teams, players, and pundits. Users can also write blogs and compete for top spots on the Sportlobster leaderboard by making predictions about matches, sometimes with the chance to win prizes as well.

Back in April I wrote about Locker, a Pinterest-style social network where professional and amateur athletes can share the exact details of their gear so other users can outfit themselves in similar fashion. Ultimately Locker aims to facilitate e-commerce by including links to products posted on the network, and will monetize the network by collecting commissions on these sales.

Of course there is also plenty of sports fandom going down on established social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Earlier this week I wrote about a partnership between USA Today and Degree deodorant and antiperspirant, which are joining forces to create a new College Football Fan Index, combining social media activity and online voting to determine which football teams have the most committed followings.

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