Social media managers with an interest in sports networks might like to cast a glance at developments across the pond, where a UK-based social media sporting startup has just added another $1 million to its investment tally.
Fanatix is the sport’s addict’s dream, allowing them to share banter over their team’s performance during and after play. The new investment brings the startup’s total funding to $3 million.
Social media managers will almost certainly be wondering what, exactly, has attracted such investor confidence? After launching in October 2011, Fanatix saw a much bigger-than-anticipated hike in the number of active users since January this year. The startup’s user numbers burgeoned from 150,000 a month at the start of the year to 1 million a month today. That’s a cool 566 per cent.
But it may be the users’ demographic characteristics in particular which have especially drawn the investment dollars: Fanatix is gaining a lot of traction amongst young males aged 13 to 24 years – a prime target population for advertisers. And according to its founder and CEO Will Muirhead, it’s gaining 30,000 new users a day, with the younger ones checking the app as many as ten times a day. There can’t be that many social media managers who don’t feel just a twinge of envy in their admiration over figures like that.
Via its web platform and app, Fanatix delivers a personalized stream of sports content, allowing users to pull in videos, content from sports blogs, Instagram photos and tweets, along with participating on its group chat feature. As Muirhead explains:
“We have deals with sports rights holders for much of the video content and partnerships in place with many sports blogs for the ‘fan opinion’. In addition, we pull in feeds from Instagram (great stuff here), YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.”
Designed to be a second screen experience during sporting events, it also adds evergreen content and features which keep fans coming back between matches, too. The new funding, Muirhead says, will be used to add more social content and roll out into Android and HTML5.
Sports fans can use the app for free but it’s monetizing very nicely through native ads, boasting click-through rates ten times better than standard 320–50 banners. “Sponsors love it,” says Muirhead.