Finding internal champions and scorecasters
Janas said ScoreTRAX started out slowly last spring, with a couple pilot programs. The big push came at the start of the local high school football season. By the end of the year ScoreTRAX had signed up 100 schools, teams and organizations representing somewhere between 500 and 800 active update streams going at any one time (many schools had multiple teams posting scores). From late August until this past February, ScoreTRAX served nearly 2 million score updates to its subscriber base, which represented a wide range of profiles.
“Aunts, uncles, friends and family were all using the service,” Janas said. “It turns out people are interested in following all kinds of teams at all levels. And once you have it, you really want it.”
One of the challenges for ScoreTRAX is making sure there are dependable internal “champions” at each school to keep entering the score information. “There was one girls’ soccer team whose scorecaster was sick, and when the scores weren’t being posted, our company switchboard lit up,” Janas said. And while some school boards need to approve the implementation of ScoreTRAX, which can slow down overall market deployment, Janas said the service’s ability to send out messages to parents and others about not just scores but other school notices and activities makes it an attractive partner to help disseminate information.
ScoreTRAX can also be used to manage a team’s or school’s social media flow, as its output can be configured to post to Twitter or Facebook accounts. And though teams could spread scoring information simply by tweeting it or posting to Facebook themselves, Janas said that method can’t compare to the sport-specific templates ScoreTRAX has built to do things like format scores in a clean manner, or to show time remaining in games in a simple manner.
On the ad side, Janas would like to build more partnerships where teams or schools get together with ScoreTRAX to sell more local ads, which provide a better monetary return than national-ad services and bring together buying and selling audiences in the same community.
“The regional ads have more value, and in the end the teams may become our best sales force,” Janas said. “And for teams it’s a way for them to generate their own revenue. It’s much more targeted and it’s an opportunity for everyone to connect a little better.”