StatSmack Provides Legitimate Breakthrough in Sports Social Media

StatSheet has launched something simple, and simply ingenious, to the sports social media public.

Called StatSmack, and available online, through App Store and Android Market, the service allows sports fans to select their favorite team and an opponent from drop-down boxes, and access statistics that will make their tweets more relevant, edgier, and cutting.

Why StatSmack is a Big Deal

This is a legitimate breakthrough in sports social media.

Today, whether following a twitter stream or a game space for social media interaction, you’ll notice that the majority of people are not that creative when it comes to what they share.

During a New England Patriots versus New York Giants game, it would not be surprising to see 70 percent or more of all tweets saying nothing more than “Go Patriots” or “Go Giants,”  for example.

StatSmack pulls information from wide and various sources to give people edgy perspective, and ideas about what they might tweet about. It uses artificial intelligence to scour the Internet for statistics to construct the tweets, which can range from traditional sports statistics, to average heights and weights of players to city crime statistics.

StatSmack in Action

Using StatSmack, here are some of the 15 tweets a Giants fan could get online, on their smart phone or on their tablet:

Allow me to direct you to the scoreboard. Last time they played, the Giants beat the Patriots by 4 points (Nov. 6, 2011).

The giants sacks leader (Jason Pierre Paul w/16.5) is better than the Patriots sacks leader (Mark Anderson w/10.0)

More people watch the Giants than the Patriots (TV market rank: #1 versus #7)

A Patriots fan would get 32 smacks in a display that looks like this:

 StatSmack in Social Media

StatSmack has implications for sports social media in many ways.

Today, such companies as GiveMojo are creating game spaces out of Twitter streams. In those scenarios, tweet volume and the quality of tweets are counted and refereed, with teams competing during games to see which team outscores the other. StatSmack is an important new tool for those applications because it provides fodder for fans who otherwise might be stymied to come up with original things to say.

Automated Insights CEO Robbie Allen

In addition, StatSmack breaks new ground by landing what many other companies are still trying to reel in — sponsorship.

According to StatSheet founder and CEO Robbie Allen, a deal with a large financial services company has been signed to provide promoted smacks as part of the service. It marks one of the first times a sports social innovation has been quick to monetize, and could signal that other companies will have an easier time landing financial support in 2012.

“It worked out that we found the right sponsor at the right time,” Allen said, while declining to name the company because the deal has not been formally announced. “The big advantage for us that’s very difficult for other media companies to match is that we can embed the sponsor in the content.”

Media Company on the Rise

StatSheet’s release of StatSmack marks the continued rise of a media company to be reckoned with in years to come.

Part of Automated Insights, StatSheet uses artificial intelligence to transform publicly available statistics into articles, summaries and headlines in real time. Focused today on NCAA college basketball, Major League Baseball and the National Football League, StatSheet transforms the information into comprehensive coverage of individual teams, tailored to the fan’s point of view.

Venture funded to the tune of $5.3 million, Automated Insights has the potential to compete and partner with big media, including the ability to takes its automated approach to data collection to such sectors as financial services, according to an earlier Mobile Sports Report article.

 

Can CBSSports.com Become the iTunes for Fantasy Sports?

In a move expected to be announced at this week’s Fantasy Sports Conference in Las Vegas, CBSSports.com is going to open up its fantasy sports game infrastructure to independent developers, in an effort to perhaps become the iTunes of fantasy sports.

Reported by the Sports Business Journal Daily, CBSSports.com’s move is a bold one in the largely secular world of fantasy sports, where almost every provider has traditionally tried to keep customers to itself. Unfortunately for fantasy players that often means that if you play in different leagues on different platforms you must maintain separate lists of teams, passwords and logins, an especially tough task if you are trying to access your league info on a mobile device.

Theoretically, by opening up its fantasy infrastructure CBSSports.com could build an iTunes-like ecosystem where third-party developers could create applications that blend the CBSSports.com player environment either with new over-the-top apps (like ones that allow fantasy players to talk smack to each other) or with apps that might let a player access teams from different fantasy platforms in one place. Just like under iTunes, developers will share revenue with CBSSports.com on a 70-30 split, with 70 percent of associated revenue going to developers and 30 percent back to CBSSports.com.

MSR favorite developers Bloomberg Sports and StatSheet are part of the first wave of CBSSports.com partners, according to the SBJD report. Here’s a money quote from Bloomberg head honcho Bill Squadron:

“This effort by CBS connects directly with the vision for fantasy that we also have,” said Bill Squadron, head of Bloomberg Sports. Bloomberg will enhance its Front Office fantasy baseball and Decision Maker fantasy football applications using the CBSSports.com fantasy data. “Having this level of deep integration is going to be very helpful.”

Here’s the Wall Street Journal take on the announcement.

Frookie Speaks Out: DeSean Jackson Sulk Underscores Game-Day Picture Power

A picture is worth a thousand words, and increasingly during the 2011 National Football League season it is a sideline image that tells the most compelling game-day story.

Thursday night, it was troubled Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson ignoring quarterback Vince Young during an embarrassing, nationally televised 34-14 loss to the mediocre Seattle Seahawks:

Vince Young (left) and DeSean Jackson during loss to Seahawks. Photo from FoxPhilly.com

This isn’t the first time that a sideline image or video clip, perfect for smartphone distribution, has dominated post-game conversation in the 2011 NFL football season. An image of Washington Redskin’s QB Rex Grossman after teammate John Beck threw a touchdown pass had many of the team’s fans questioning whether Grossman isn’t just in it for himself:

Is this a meaningless expression, or the telltale sign of a selfish football player?

Frookie Speaks Out: Media outlets distinguish themselves in today’s sports media arena when they come up with a great photo, video clip, player profile or analysis. In fact, I’m less likely than ever to read a run-of-the-mill game recap on any website other than StatSheet, because StatSheet’s automated approach gives me a cleaner, more consistent read, and all the statistics I need to optimize my sports betting and Fantasy experiences. But, give me a good image or video clip that I can share via a smartphone, and I am all over it.  And share opinion or insight that allows me to contribute to my sports discussions with friends, and I am all over that, too. Just don’t waste my time producing anything less.

On the Eagles:

Frookie Speaks Out: After taking a flyer on Michael Vick and having it work out, the Philadelphia Eagles came to believe they could be successful with any talented player no matter what transgressions they had, or what the Wonderlic Test revealed about their character (or lack thereof).  Eagles fans are paying a steep price for that hubris.  Beginning with coach Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman, the Eagles should clean house. Then, they should build a winning team of character, befitting the city and state they represent. In that way, Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians can again have at least one  nationally recognized football team they can be proud of.  That would be the picture-perfect solution.

Finally, here’s a link to footage where the photo of Grossman originated. Decide for yourself whether this is simply an NFL QB hankering to get into the game, or a selfish player you’d be better off not having on your team.

 

 

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