My Sports StartUp Story
How can I compete in an oversaturated industry?
My start-up was initially me trying to figure out how to better serve sports fans. In my initial research, I found that many people surrounding me were of immigrant background or communities. Their issue was gaining access to their favorite sports content.
I thought about what their favorite sports were. Many said soccer. Some said rugby or cricket. Even if it wasn’t their favorite sport, there was still some interest in consuming more of a variety of sports. I began to think about how I could better serve those fans with those interests.
Fox Soccer Channel became my model for a sports media outlet that covers an international sport very well. In addition to 24/7 soccer coverage, they have a website (FoxSoccer2go) that would satisfy the average fan. In fact, one of the people I interviewed for the 5x5 assignment mentioned FSC his go-to source for soccer coverage. The website streams live games, offer games on-demand, show stats, highlights, scores, schedules, etc. I thought to myself, how could I do this but better and for other international sports.
Cricket is covered by ESPN on ESPNcricinfo.com. There are other websites like mycrickethighlights.com. Rugby is covered by USARugby.com, rugbyworldcup.com, The Guardian and The Telegraph. Much like Fox, they all have good websites with a variety of coverage. There are interviews with coaches, owners, players and others in their community.
I wondered if I could really add to the market in anyway. Sports are covered pretty thoroughly and visibility isn’t an issue. But I also wondered how many people are searching for these sites like I did. So I went back to some of my sources and asked them if they knew about any of the rugby or cricket sites.
USARugby.com was the only one.
Then I thought about mycrickethighlight.com. It’s a sports site that is dedicated to mostly cricket highlights and some coverage. Most of their posts are four to five Youtube videos of highlights with content written around the videos. The least number of videos a post had was two.
If I were going to build something, I would have to take these things into account. What looks good? What doesn’t? What feels right? But I liked the “more videos” theme from mycrickethighlight.com.
They had over 100,000 likes on Facebook, but I’ve never heard of it, no one I know has ever heard of it, nor have I ever seen it on any of my feeds. This could of course be because it’s mostly an international sport. That’s something I always will have to continue to take into account going forward.
But there are millions of websites about almost anything. Do I really need to build another one? It would make more sense to aggregate this coverage to users who need access. So, my idea is a website and/or app that can pull up the best highlights and coverage.
Someone will choose their favorite sport from any the major American four plus a wider variety of sports. The content they receive would be short videos and possibly short blurbs relevant to that sport. But the choices would be simple. Highlights or interviews/analysis. Written content would be at a minimum.
Features would really be features because they would be rare.
My method would to be to scour relevant sites that pertaining to that sport and return or link to the best of coverage, especially for the secondary international sports. There may be a way to this programmatically. But there is more research to be done there. The most viewed posts or videos would be a gage as to what to put out.
This would eliminate having to go to five or six different sites or even having to search one. And since this one wont have an overcrowded home page like other sites, it will be more serviceable. I like worldrugbycup.com’s design. But my concept will feature less content and more space.
It would serve not only the minority sports fans, but those who need easy and quick access to only what they want. Highlights would be stressed.
There would be a rights issue that I feel like I’ll have to take into account. But for now, my idea is to flood the soccer fan with soccer highlights/content. Football with football. Rugby with rugby. And the same for each sport. To simplify the experience of sports consumption, while trying to service every fan.
It would be a challenge getting coverage of every sport and keeping a clean and serviceable website. Getting boots on the ground in some of these international sites seems daunting but with videos it could be done.
A mobile app could send in-game updates and highlights to a fan’s phone.
This is still a thought but I will put it to the test by collecting links of highlights of first secondary sports and bringing it to my “sports circles”. If they get excited about the highlights, it could be a start.