Montreal-based social network for sports, Insidde Sports recently launched its version two of the product, and already one news outlet is calling it a “Facebook for Sports”.
CEO Anthony Omenya, a former semi-pro soccer player from France, cofounded the company with CCO Ruben Ver Berne and CTO Alexandre Mathon-Roy.
Tickets will always sell, but in the last few years it has become apparent in professional sports that generating content that brings the fan closer to the athlete will far outsell tickets. If someone can do it by creating a community, there’s always potential.
With Insidde sports, users can sign up quickly via Facebook or by regular sign-in, and once in they gain access to a pretty cool library of content revolving around sports teams and their players. The main purpose of the social network is to follow teams from either the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL or FIFA, and its players. By custom selecting which teams and player a user wants to follow, they gain access to up-to-date content updates and any news. When a user follows a player they can see whatever that player has recently tweeted and any recent video content.
Fans can also follow eachother and post statuses on various news stories, or “like” content by clicking “I’m IN”.
Omenya said he started the social network as a result of the London 2012 Olympic Games. “I saw how the fans could be engaged and connected, so I was thinking, ‘why is there not really a real platform where people can be connected together and share the same passions,’” he told BetaKit. “For us it’s about the fan experience. People today haven’t found the right platform where they can stay connected with their favourite athletes or teams (and stay in one place), and that’s why I started Inside.”
As Les Affaires pointed out in their coverage, at this point its pretty much necessary that Insidde develops a second screen for their users. Thus far its only a web app but Omenya said iOS and Android are next on the road map. The social network is decent- as a hardcore sports nut it’s decent enough to keep me coming back, however it’s still a bit rudimentary in its user experience. But with more time obviously the team will be able to improve this.
Insidde Sports seems intent on raising a small funding round, but to get there they’ve already experience the chicken-an-egg problem, as one firm said it would need more traffic and traction before it signs a cheque. Until then it’s all about getting the word out for the guys behind Insidde Sports.