Forget Apps: ScoreTRAX Scores with SMS

The Power of SMS

As a longtime entrepreneur whose experience includes 15-plus years of developing applications for the medical industry, Janas is also part of a concern that owns two minor-league basketball teams in North Carolina — they briefly attempted to make a business of streaming their games online. But even though that process is technically feasible, it was much more difficult to manage and produce, Janas said.

“Streaming [sports] is just not effective unless it’s professionally done,” Janas said. “It seems easy, to just have a camera at every event and point it at the field. But the feeds are generally poor and you might not even be able to give people the score if the camera’s not pointed at the scoreboard.”

Looking around for another way to connect to sports audiences, Janas and crew thought about Twitter, Facebook or a smartphone app, but kept coming to the same conclusion: There was no simple way to make money with those platforms.

“With Facebook and Twitter, there’s really no way to monetize [what you’re doing],” Janas said. And with a smartphone app, you have to worry about different devices and whether the app is up to date for all of them. “Apps aren’t easy to monetize, and in the end you end up cutting your potential audience down,” Janas said.

The SMS plan came about when Janas and his partners asked themselves: What do these fans really want? It turns out, being able to stay current with simple scores from events, and schedules and other messages in between, was a powerful lure. And SMS could handle that info perfectly, while also providing an established way to provide revenue via text-based ads.

“It was a way to provide what the fans wanted, while being able to create a business and monetize it,” Janas said. “SMS is not the sexiest or coolest technology — it’s just the best.”

Next: Finding an internal champion

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