Sports fans know how difficult it can be to capture “the moment.” You know what I’m talking about. THE goal. THE fight. THE game-changing play or epic winning celebration. But in an era of rapidly advancing technology, this struggle could soon be history.
A California-based video technology startup, Fantag, is looking to make capturing and sharing special moments of live events easier for fans with its new mobile video engagement platform.
“We are a video platform that allows people who are producing content to access and share the best moments in any single event so that they can get the right content in front of the best audience,” Brian Dombrowksi, founder and CEO of Fantag, tells ITBusiness.ca.
He explains that fans at a game can use the mobile app to “tag” a moment when they see a great play, which they can then relive in its entirety and share with others.
“Because no one can predict when a great sporting moment will happen, fans will tag it after the play happens in real time. Our platform allows them to jump back 15 seconds – which is the default time but can be customized – so they can get the lead-in time to that moment, the moment itself, as well as the fallout afterwards,” says Dombrowksi, a former video scouting coordinator with the San Jose Sharks.
Rising above the competition
The “secret sauce” to Fantag, however, is that it allows users to see their tagged moment from as many camera angles that are recording the event, including all broadcasts and even other fan videos.
“It’s just a really seamless way to expand the instant replay experience,” Dombrowksi continues. “The key for a fan is the fact that they don’t need to be watching this game on their phone, or filming it themselves, to catch all the video they might be interested in – they only need to have this app downloaded on their phone and be ready to tap it when something amazing happens.”
He adds that until now, fans have been “at the mercy of what the broadcaster decides to show them,” and this platform can improve both fan and broadcaster experience.
“If you’re watching a broadcast of a hockey game and you see a really sweet deke that doesn’t result in a goal, and then there’s some back and forth and another great move, then a whistle, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a replay of that earlier moment you found interesting,” Dombrowksi says. “The broadcaster loses value because there’s an audience for content they’ve already done the work to capture, so Fantag helps them connect with their viewers to deliver the optimal experience.”
Support from big names
The company has already garnered attention from notable names in both the tech and sports industries. Fantag just announced on Mar. 15 that former Apple vice president, John Stone, will be joining the company as its COO.
And its list of investors and advisors includes executives from ticket reseller StubHub, members of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings’ ownership group, Dell EMC, as well as MaxPreps (a high school sports-focused media company owned and operated by CBS Interactive).
Partnerships are key
The platform will be live and use partnerships with various organizations to function, says Giovanni Rodriguez, Fantag’s CMO.
“We’re partner-oriented, meaning that we’ll be partnering up with teams and broadcasters that presumably will be filming their own video at events and that’s how fans will get the live tagging ability,” he explains.
While Fantag has a native app, some partners with their own established mobile apps may want to incorporate the experience into their own, which Fantag fully supports, adds Rodriguez.
While Fantag couldn’t disclose its partners at the time of publication, Rodriguez says its initial partners will be announced sometime in the first half of 2017 and hinted at what’s to come.
“We’re looking at professional sports, so teams in basketball and soccer. Gaining partnerships in hockey would be a great thing for us as well because its a ‘flow’ sport and that’s where capturing a goal is a really big deal,” he explains. “We’re also looking at organizations within youth and highschool sports because there’s a lot of value to be added for parents and coaches.”
Dombrowksi adds that once past “phase one” of launching and establishing partners, he sees Fantag expanding into the entertainment and music industry as well.
“Obviously, the initial conversation revolves around sports because we’re all passionate about it and we think it will be a very big market for Fantag, but there are other use-cases that we’re already thinking about,” he points out. “We see a day where this could be interesting in a number of different arenas, like education, for example, or entertainment and music. This technology can be repurposed for a number of different markets.”
The app is currently in a beta phase and will be available later this year in both the Apple App Store and GooglePlay.