RadioShack Tour Tracker Will Return For Second USA Pro Challenge Mobile Coverage

The USA Pro Challenge debuted in Colorado in 2011 as a new stage race but with a long history in some respects dating to the iconic Coors Classic which ended in 1988. The high degree of the new event's success even surprised race organizers.

Strong online and mobile event coverage helped in 2011, and it will return for the race's second edition, Aug. 20-26, beginning in Durango, Colo., via the RadioShack Tour Tracker.

Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), the third-place finisher in this year’s Tour de France, 2011 Tour de France titlist Cadel Evans (BMC) of Australia and defending race titlist Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) of the United States are among the favorites for the Colorado race.

Five of the top 13 finishers in this year’s Tour de France plus a host of other Tour de France and Olympic riders will participate in the 683-mile, seven-stage race that will take the expected field of 126 cyclists from 16 teams to Denv


The free RadioShack Tour Tracker (RSTT) app is downloadable from the Apple app store and Google Play. Available as a mobile and web-based app (online at, RSTT features live video coupled with real time data, including stats and the standing of each rider.

Each stage will be detailed “on the road” and will immediately report breakaways, time gaps, speed and road gradient.

Fans viewing the race in person can use the RadioShack Tour Tracker’s integrated GPS tracking to monitor race progress on the detailed course map and anticipate the arrival time at their viewing point.

The TourTracker is considered the premier online and mobile race coverage platform. (Editor's note: We profiled Tour Tracker last year.) It addition to the USA Pro Challenge, it's utilized in the Tour de France, Tour of California, Tour of Utah and other international cycling events.

James Raia is a California-based journalist who writes about sports, travel and leisure. Visit his cycling site at


Fanatic Fans: An Insider’s Look at Mobile Applications for Live Events

Brian Holmes, a driving force behind Calibrus' breakthrough Fanatic Fans application

If you ever wanted a good look into the infancy of sports social media, you could get it by taking a look at Calibrus Inc. Fanatic Fans application.

Fanatic Fans debuted at Arizona State University home games last month, and today fewer than a thousand people have it on their smartphone or other mobile device. Yet that’s enough momentum to convince the 26-year-old developer of the application, Brian Holmes, he’s on to something big – a concept that could fundamentally change the fan experience at live sports events and concerts.

“We feel there is a real opportunity to tap into this marketplace to grow a significant brand with large numbers of users,” Holmes told

 Indeed, Fanatic Fans marks one of the most aggressive moves to date by a major college athletic program to mirror sports social media innovations occurring in the NFL, according to The Miami Dolphins are among the leaders in pro pigskin with an application developed by Mobile Roadie LLC, but the college market is wide open. Beyond ASU, Fanatic Fans is now being made available to University of Grand Canyon and University of Denver sports fans. Calibrus also sees Fanatic Fans as potentially a big winner in the live music space, Holmes said.

While ESPN, CBS Sports, SB Nation and numerous others have won big user numbers for mobile sports applications that provide news and buzz, applications that facilitate live event experience are just emerging. Indeed, the implications of mobile sports applications at live events are often misunderstood even by the experts, as evidenced by the South Eastern Conference’s recent decision to revise such impossible-to-enforce social media policies as the prohibition of mobile devices use at games.

For business, Fanatic Fans and other applications are promising because they can be used to provide offers to consumers at the moment they are ready to buy whether that’s before, during or after and event, according to Fast Company.

Available for Android and iPhones, Fanatic Fans works this way: Users download the application, and log in with user name and password whenever they go to a game. At present, check-in at a game qualifies them for prizes. At University of Denver games that includes a seat upgrade, and at ASU games there’s a $500 cash prize. During timeouts, fans are also prompted to respond to scoreboard contests via text. At ASU, that’s currently a contest to name the MVP of the game. Ultimately, applications like Fanatic Fans can be used by fans to interact with other fans when they are tailgating or at the stadium.  

Fanatic Fans took shape quickly, and the speed with which it went from concept to in-game experience underscores how nimble companies and sports teams will need to be in order to capitalize on the growth of sports social media. Fanatic Fans began to take shape in February, when Holmes took the idea to Calibrus management.  At the time, Holmes was working as a project manager on a website called JabberMonkey, which allows people to post questions, videos, pictures and articles that others can respond to via chat, webcam, email or VOIP. Calibrus used its development team in Saudi Arabia to turn the idea into a reality, and quickly won the support of ASU. Its business model is to create an avid user base for Fanatic Fans, and reward affinity marketing points for sports fan participation, Holmes said.