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Building Meaningful Communities in Sports

Building Meaningful Communities in Sports – A look into how these sports-tech founders created unique products to enhance the future of the sports industry.

In this blog, we will explore the dynamic landscape of sports startups, examining their vision on creating a meaningful impact within the sports industry. From enhancing fan engagement to transforming sports media and expanding accessibility, these startups are challenging traditional norms and forging a new path for athletes, fans, and the entire sports ecosystem. We asked multiple startup founders for their insight on the future of the industry and how their platforms will drive engagement and innovation in sports through three main topics:

  1. The Innovation Gap they’re solving in the sports industry 
  2. Fan Engagement
  3. Potential Impact on the Future of Sports 

Closing the Innovation Gap 

Sports offer a unique platform to address various challenges and promote positive change. By implementing a combination of strategies, problems in sports can be identified, tackled, and resolved, leading to a healthier, more inclusive, and fair sporting environment. Startups like Watchers are essential for the overall sustainability and growth of the industry. Here’s what Yana Barden, CEO of Watchers had to say when asked what problem they were aiming to solve in the sports world. 

Building Meaningful Communities in Sports - Yana Barden - Cofounder and CEO of Watchers

“We’ve wanted to help sports companies gather their fans, users, viewers, and members closer. It allows them to boost their businesses and level up relationships with the audience, develop their own platforms, grow metrics, and stay in touch with users and fans.” 

Additionally, the use of social media platforms can be controversial, sensitive, and distant. Yana aims to solve this problem through her ideas of a unique approach to social media:

 She added, “Users and fans tend to communicate on different social media, and because of that, they are separated. Also, they can face unhealthy spaces with inappropriate behavior around; we are solving this problem and providing tools for building communities with tools for communication in the most obvious area — where content fans love and the teams they support have a place.”

Through innovative solutions like Watchers, their commitment to improvement boosts entertainment value, fosters community, and extends the reach and impact of sports on a global scale.

Fan Engagement

Fans are the lifeblood of any sport. Their passion, enthusiasm, and engagement create an electric atmosphere during games, both in stadiums and through various media channels. The presence of passionate fans cheering from the stands or expressing their support through social media can inspire athletes to give their best on the field. 

Brittany Harris – CEO of Rave On Sports describes how she’s trying to bridge the gap between fans and athletes. As a sports fan, it is a dream come true to meet your favorite players. Brittany expands on how Raveonsports is making this possible: 

“At Rave On Sports we are building a unique platform that connects fans with the players and teams they love. We are creating deeper bonds between fans and their favorite teams building meaningful sports communities.”

Furthermore, Antoine Grimond, CEO of Gamifly addresses how his company is implementing innovative solutions to create a meaningful impact in the sports industry.

Building Meaningful Communities in Sports - Antoine Grimond- Cofounder of Gamifly

“Our approach was to create a catalog of interesting and interactive widgets that could be used by clubs, event organizers and brands to interact directly with their audience.”

By implementing widgets that are interactive and responsive, brands and viewers will be able to engage with the game like never before. Rather than just watching the game from your coach, become a part of the experience and voice your opinion through creative modules and animations.

Gamifly - Engage Fans Anywhere

The Future of the Sports World

Fans expectations and preferences will push sports organizations to innovate and adapt to meet the evolving needs of fans in the coming years. Sports enthusiasts are poised to exert a substantial impact on the sports industry, as advancements in technology enable them to enjoy increasingly interactive experiences. Yana Barden, Watchers talks about how sports fans will impact the industry by 2025:

“With the rise of social media and other digital platforms, sports fans will have more opportunities to engage with their favorite teams and players. This engagement will lead to increased fan loyalty and revenue for sports organizations. They will be able to leverage these data points to create personalized experiences for fans, tailoring everything from ticket prices to concessions to merchandise to individual preferences. This will boost fan satisfaction and loyalty.” 

In addition to fan satisfaction and loyalty, the importance of artificial intelligence in the industry will create a more beneficial environment for fans while blocking out unnecessary negativity. Yana affirms this as she states “AI will help to provide much more safe and trusted space, without hate speeches and inappropriate issues.”

Rave On Sports CEO, Brittany Harris further explains how she believes fans can impact the sports industry in the coming years: 

Brittany Harris - Co-Founder and CMO at RaveOn Sports

“Sports organizations need to continue to explore ways to integrate remote fans into live events through virtual viewing experiences, interactive features, and real-time engagement . Allowing fans from around the world to feel connected and actively participate in the game, regardless of their physical location.” 

Sports fans will continue to shape the sports industry by driving digital engagement, participating in content creation, and demanding personalized experiences. By partnering with an established organization, these companies will be able to broaden their reach and provide their distinctive services to the future of the industry. When asked what an ideal partnership would look, here is what Yana Barden had to say: 

“Due to Real Madrid having a huge worldwide fan base, I believe we can help their organization gather fans on one central platform rather than external social media and support the approach to build trust and a strong community there. Besides the community-building approach and keeping them a safe and trusted space that traditional social media cannot support, Real Madrid will get their platforms’ growth of engagement, retention, and revenue due to fans’ new favorite place for communication.”

Partnering with big organizations can expand the customer base and open doors into new markets, fostering mutual success which can accelerate growth and innovation in the sports community. 

To conclude, startups like Watchers, Gamifly, and Rave On Sports are driving the sports industry forward by closing the innovation gap and  transforming fan experiences, championing social causes, and introducing loyalty programs. With their relentless pursuit of excellence and commitment to making a meaningful impact, these startups are modeling a future where sports are more inclusive, engaging, and inspiring for athletes, fans, and the entire sports community.


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