New Bracket Pro Takes 'Best Of' Lists To A New Level

People love to “vote” except it seems, when they’re supposed to, in November. If you put a bar room of guys together, they can spend all night arguing about a best or worst list of anything, from the best sports team logo (Chicago Blackhawks, obviously) to the 10 coolest muscle cars ever (1966, GTO, case closed).

So you can predict pretty great things for Omnigon’s new software, BracketPro, which will now make it possible for sports networks and all kinds of publishers to let users weigh in on “best-of” subjects. It lets them vote using the same kind of bracket they do to fill out their March Madness entries, but online, and over time. That eventually sifts the larger fields down to a winner. (Attention, Republican Party: You need something like this.)

Today, Sporting will launch the “Greatest NBA Draft Ever” bracket, in advance of the 2015 NBA Draft coming up later in the week. That bracket competition pits 16 draft classes from the 1950s to the 2010s against one another, head-to-head, until a champion is crowned. It’s Michael’s 1984 class versus LeBron’s 2003, probably.

All of this, of course, can be monetized with pre-roll in the awesome clips of performing stars or a page takeover or whatever. The bracket itself is probably enough keep you on the Sporting News site, and keep bringing you back for the rest of the week, or until the next BracketPro tabulation.

Fox Broadcasting revved up its bracket to hype a new season of “So You Think You Can Dance,” inviting fans to vote for their fave performances by stars over the last 11 seasons.

This is a pretty natural piece of software from Omnigon, which works with big leagues and sportscasters to advise and help build apps and special features that engage online sports users.

BracketPro is a white label product, so Fox or a league, or anybody, can brand their own bracket madness that can be sold to sponsors. It can showcase 32 pieces of video or still images; users can vote via social media Omnigon licenses the software for one-time or longtime use. 

Another early BracketPro user is CONCACAF, the governing body for soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, which today is launching a bracket today to promote the upcoming Gold Cup tournament, letting fans vote on the best 32 goals in Gold Cup history.

As a device to greatly up “time spent” stats for a site and to encourage a lot of social network interaction, BracketPro seems to be an idea coming around at a good time. BuzzFeed makes its living devising its own listicles. They’re absolutely clickbait. And undeniably, bracket filling isn’t something you have to learn. The American Gaming Association estimated that for March Madness this year, 40 million people filled out 70 million bracket ballots--that’s more votes than President Obama got in 2012.

: The Four Points hotel chain last week partnered with One World Sports which specializes in streaming sports events from overseas, including the England National Cricket Team, Japanese baseball’s Yomiuri Giants, Kontinental Hockey League (Russia/Europe) and the OneAsia Golf tour.

Starting this fall, guests will be able to stream One World events via iPads from pubs in Four Points’ 200 hotels in 30 countries. It’s a bigger deal worldwide than in the U.S. Over here, I’d assume there still will be barstools available during even the biggest cricket matches.

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