Each morning I have breakfast with my Lovely Bride. She watches DVR recordings of lame reality shows while I surf my Social Networks and catch up on news. This morning there was a tweet from @MediaHunter that caught my eye:
Now, I am not a sports fan, not do I particularly enjoy the Olympics, but this made something click in my head. I am just dashing this off, without too much thought, because I am of the opinion that whoever does grab this idea and develop it will remember me and send me a gift certificate to Pizzaria Uno or something when they make a million bucks from this idea.
“Twitter” (or something like it) just for sports fans
Somebody smarter than me could put together a site that sports fans could socialize on, that had the latest updates on scores and injured players and whatever else sports people are interested in on a daily basis (like I said, not a fan). It would need a “newsfeed” or “tweetstream” analog, so people could see what their teams and friends were saying about whatever sports related topics. There could also be an Off-Topic area where people could discuss non-sports-specific but still sports-event-related stuff like tailgating techniques and beer-drinking tips, merchandizing, who has the hottest cheerleaders, whatever.
Gratuitous picture of Beach Volleyball player's backside
Time for the Underwear Gnomes
Step 1: Create a new social network for SPORTS FANS!1!
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit!
Here is how you monetize it: most of the sports fan-type people that I know like to compete in those trivia games and with each other. Like that scene in City Slickers where the girl is mocking the guys about “who cares who was the pitcher in the 1967 World Series” and both guys blurt out the answer.
Step 2, then, is “Make it a game“.
So, every 15 minutes or so, a “Promoted Post” or “Sponsored Tweet”-like thing happens where the user’s “newsfeed” get a post like: “Toyota Challenge: Who was the winning pitcher in the 1967 World Series?“. Toyota of course pays for the post and for clicks and for the number of correct answers in the “Replies”. The user that is first to answer correctly gets a point on their “SportsRepTM” [© 2012 Stephen P Smith] score that shows up on their profile. The “secret sauce” is that the replies/answers are kept hidden for ten minutes or so, so people have a chance to actually compete for getting the answer. Someone that actually knows the answer will more than likely beat the user that just searches for the answer on Bing. (Ha ha, yes that is a joke, no one I know uses Bing!)
Anyone that has replied to a sponsored post will either need to hang around on the site or wait for a notification (text or email) to find out who was the winner. The notification has a link that takes the user to the sponsored post page where they can see a text ad, perhaps a video if they choose, then find out who was first with the right answer.
This way the users get to see the sponsor’s name at least twice and have a chance to be exposed to their marketing message.
The Network could have a huge opportunity to get users to log on during games by having more sponsored tweets during games while they are happening, with super-hard, obscure questions about the teams and/or players that are doing their thing live, right now.
The sponsored posts could be things for REAL Super-fans, like “Schlitz Malt Liquor Challenge: What was Boom-boom Johnson’s third wife’s favorite color?”
So there ya go. That’s my idea for what the next big Sports-centric Social Network could look like, with BONUS monetization strategy!
Oh, one more thing: Word to the wise, don’t go big with this until you have both an iPhone and Android app out of beta. You’ll just turn people off and lose a big chunk of your potential audience.
Share your thoughts, leave a comment.