Social sports are in the air. The NBA playoffs just ended with a big social bang. The MLB is about to kick off the most social All Star Game ever. NBC is preparing for a social TV infused Olympics. Wimbledon is being shared across the social web and Euro 2012 was second on the social TV charts next to the BET Awards. Not surprisingly there are some brand new sports apps that are vying to make the viewing experience more social.
As we learned from SocialGuide, sports programming accounted for 44% of the social chatter in March. While it’s no surprise that live sports events lend themselves well to conversation (online and IRL) are there certain apps geared towards sports to improve the experience. Is there a GetGlue, or Shazam for sports? We uncovered five apps that are making sports on TV more social. Meet Fanatix, SportsYapper, PlayUp, FanCake and Thuuz.
Fanatix – the GetGlue of sports apps:
Fanatix, available for iPhone and iPad describes itself as “a fun new way to follow sports with friends and other fans.” Similar to GetGlue the “service prompts fans to check into live sports events where they can find out which friends are following the action and unlock extra fanatix features.” In honor of all of the major sports of events of the summer they’ve smartly added alerts to the app for Euro 2012, MLB, AFL and International Cricket. If you couldn’t tell already, the company (which you can follow @therealfanatix) is based in London. They already have deals with Manchester City, ESPN, Eurosport and Paddy Power.
SportsYapper – an app launched by an actual baseball player:
SportsYapper, available for iPhone and Android, describes itself as a “new sports social destination founded by sports fans and created for sports fans.” They further describe that “this app connects friends and fellow fans while they’re watching the game, providing the shared experience that is the essence of what sports is about.” Interestingly the company has been launched by New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and entrepreneur Kenny Dichter, founder of Marquis Jets and Tequila Avion. CEO Eric Goldstein told Lost Remote that “Yapps are limited to 300 characters, not 140; giving fans the space needed to share their take on big plays, coaching decisions, blown calls, etc.” He added that “users have a simple interface to assign a sport or team to each of their Yapps without having to add a hashtag.” You can follow them @SportsYapper.
PlayUp – involving NBA players to spread the platform:
PlayUp, available for iPhone, Android and via the web, recently made a splash when NBA players Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings used the app to interact with fans during the finals. The app “enables sports fans to follow their choice of more than 36,000 live games while simultaneously discussing the action with fellow fans on their mobile devices.” Features include “real-time scoring and stats, along with the option to create private rooms to discuss the action with friends or join public rooms to interact with fans from around the world – play by play and pitch by pitch – for every NFL, college football and basketball, NHL, NBA, MLB, and MLS game, as well as a variety of international leagues from around the globe.” You can follow them @PlayUpUSA.
FanCake – the Viggle of sports apps:
FanCake, available for iPhone and iPad, says that “for the first time, sports fans are getting rewarded with tickets, merchandise and gift cards just for being sports fans and watching live sports on TV.” The company just launched the FanCake rewards program that “lets users accumulate FanCake Credits by checking into games, catching medals, and answering predictive challenges correctly, which can be redeemed for rewards from FanCake’s partners that include Fanatics.com, ScoreBig, Kiip and more.” Is Viggle the Viggle of sports apps or is FanCake? You can follow Kwarter, the company that created FanCake @Kwartr.
Thuuz – discovering where to watch sports, in real life too:
Thuuz already has a deal with Dish to provide sports alerts via Google TV. “Thuuz is sports discovery, tune-in, and sharing for the post-PC era,” CEO Warren Packard described to Lost Remote. “We measure the excitement level of games, events, and individual athletic performances both before matches (our pre-game excitement quotient) and, in real-time, during matches (our excitement quotient),” he explained. Because of their relationships with service providers like Dish, Packard describes that, “if you’re out and about and you receive a notification on your mobile phone that a particular game has become extremely exciting, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that the game in question was recorded for you on your DVR even without your manual intervention.” They also just announced automated recording for Dish customers so fans pre-set rules on which games to record. In addition to Google TV the app is available for iPhone and Android. You can follow them @Thuuz.
If you know of any other sports apps making TV more social please let us know in the comments. It might be time for Lost Remote to launch LostHelmet.com.
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