Loud, aggressive and fanatic are a few stereotypes that describe a sports fan, but for Greg Sampson these words described his former girlfriend having a sports-induced meltdown. The event of which would help him launch the idea for a new app he named FanCheer.
FanCheer is what Sampson calls “interactive sports television,” allowing sports fans to engage in chats, competitions and other activities to be the “best fan.” The idea came as Sampson, an avid sports fan, noticed the wide range of fan behavior as people watched the game.
“If you do not see the behavior, it’s because you’re doing it,” Sampson said. “They are yelling and screaming at the TV doing some armchair quarterbacking and saying they can do better than some players on the field. The point of FanCheer is taking the passion and energy of fans that watch the game outside the arena and into a competition between fans.” Sampson said. “Because fans are just as competitive as the athletes on the field.”
People who download the app can use it simultaneously with the live broadcast and can also set reminders for upcoming games. Within the app users are invited to engage in four different ways. These ways being through chatting, cheering, polls and trivia. The preceding three are based on “cheering competitions.” The results of these competitions can lead to a team earning awards from a few of FanCheer’s marketing sponsors. However, Sampson did not just create the app as a daily fan versus fan showdown but also as a potential tool to expand and enhance the sports viewing experience.
“I was a competitive swimmer while I was a student at Howard University and swimming is one of those zero dollar sports, meaning that the prosperity of the team is based on the success of the revenue sports,” Sampson said. “So I was looking for some ways that I could enhance and bring some value back to college athletics and provide some value for sports franchises either college or professional to increase revenue opportunities through sponsorship.”
Sampson’s app also proves to be cost-effective for users. After discovering that 90 percent of sports fans never see a live game and noticing the difference in fans that can sit in a stadium versus the number of fans that watch the live broadcast. Sampson saw an opportunity to develop rich dialogue not only between fans but local business and the franchises themselves.Starting in 2014 being tested in sports bars and fans, FanCheer is currently working to expand their fan base. The app is also working on expanding their own sports offerings. Currently, the app works with football and basketball at the college and professional level. Sampson aims to add the NHL and MLS for app users by 2018.
With 2,000 fans and growing, Sampson has partnered with local sports bars such as Dave and Busters, Landmark Americana and Crabby’s to name a few where users can meet up and participate in FanCheer events and promotions in real time. For his long-term vision of the company, Sampson aspires to integrate FanCheer to live television and bring viewership and engagement to “new heights.”
To learn more about FanCheer visit the following links or download the app which is available through Android or iPhone.