The second-screen experience has become almost indispensable for sports fans in the younger demographic. Specific live tweeting of events, hashtags and social media gatherings for games, trade deadlines and award shows is growing. Until now, Twitter has dominated that space. Want to see what the world of sports is reacting to? Go on Twitter and follow any number of personalities, from big media companies such as USA TODAY and ESPN, to blogs and digital media companies such as Deadspin and Uproxx. The problem with Twitter for hard-core sports fans is that they get news, pop culture, and other interests sprinkled in with sports. That could change as apps develop to focus specifically on sports fans’ social media consumption.
Take GameOn, for example, a social media app backed by the likes of Joe Montana and Lawyer Milloy that provides fans with chats, stickers and discussions about what is going on in sports. GameOn cuts out the other noise prevalent on social media sites and applications like Twitter, GroupMe or What’sApp. As the lineup of professional athletes grows, fans get increased interaction.
GameOn is a What’sApp/GroupMe/Viber for sports fans, and like the aforementioned social/digital applications, is heavily targeted at the male 16-30 demographic. This is how that demographic communicates, and GameOn fills a specific niche that could be leveraged by the app when in discussion with advertising partners.
There are challenges. A revenue model based on stickers and emojis alone would make for difficult revenue growth, but there are other opportunities. Targeted advertisements, partnerships, conferences or AMAs (Ask Me Anythings) could drive more fans to the application and give GameOn the necessary user base to monetize its community. Of course users always hate ads, so GameOn and similar apps will have to get creative.
Twitter still dominates as an immediate social discussion platform, but targeted apps may be the wave of the future. GameOn has enough funding and big names that may allow it to be the test case.
Michael Colangelo is Senior Editor of The Fields of Green and Assistant Director at the USC Sports Business Institute.