WePlay, a social networking come kids sports management site has taken $1.87 million in a round that included Pequot Private Equity, Creative Artists Agency and Major League Baseball, according to PEHub. Editor’s Update: The company tells TechCrunch it has raised $4.5 million—$3.5 million from Pequot and $1 million from angel investors, including management and athletes. CAA and Major League Baseball are not investors.
The New York Times has a positive write up on the site here (they report total funding at $4.5m); the short story is that apparently kiddies who play sport need their own social network and parents should have somewhere to manage teams, “get practice schedules, coordinate car pools and find out which equipment to purchase,” because those features haven’t been offered before.
Except they have in various forms. TeamSnap, Rosterbot, EasyTeamManager, SportsVite, RedZone Leauges and YourTeam.ca. Ah, but kiddies are going to want to social network on a site that their parents are using to manage the team, and not MySpace, Facebook, ClubPenguin, Habbo Hotel, EA-Land, Bebo, Friendster….
Perhaps that’s a little harsh, but an investment from Major League Baseball is not a good sign, given their support of the now failed Brightspot.TV. Sports organizations/ sports stars and online investing usually don’t make a great mix (will we ever forget MVP.com?)
The true driving force behind WePlay can be found at the beginning of the NY Times article where they talk about video footage of a 9 year old child playing sport who went on to become a star. To be fair WePlay doesn’t reserve the right to sell any content you upload to the site, it does want full rights to that content, and if your kid goes on to be a star, that content has a lot of value:
To the extent that the Services provide Users an opportunity to post, store and exchange articles, information, materials, data, files, programs, photographs, concepts, communications, footage, ideas and opinions (“User Content”), you agree to and hereby do grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, weplay, its contractors, and the users of the weplay Site an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully sublicensable, fully paid up, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform, digitally perform, publicly display, and distribute such content and to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such content, including a User’s likeness.
It’s a (kiddie) trap!