As the world’s most popular sport, soccer (or football as it is called in most of the world) has no shortage of devout fans, and with the World Cup coming up in just over a year, that popularity is set to skyrocket once again. So it’s no surprise that social networks dedicated to the sport have emerged that are looking to capitalize on this massive market. One of these is Footbo, a soccer-centric social network that has just closed a $1 million funding round from Pitango Venture Capital.
Since launching last June, the site has built up an international audience of 240,000 across English, Spanish, and German-speaking countries. The site has also recently implemented Facebook Connect, and is working to further increase exposure through a number of widgets.
While Footbo is touted as primarily a social network, it offers a handful of major interlocking components. Its social network includes standard functionality like allowing users to connect with friends, participate in groups, and message each other. There’s also a collection of data and statstics of professional teams from 70 international leagues, including scores, standings, and fixtures (schedules). The site also has over 50,000 team and player profiles.
Users can interact with this data through prediction games (which have also been integrated into Virgin Media), customized news feeds, and subjective grading of how their favorite teams fare during a game, which they can then compare to other users. Users can also add their own content, including blogs and wiki pages revolving around players and teams. Members can also use the Footbo platform to create their own teams and leagues for recreational play.
Footbo competes with a number of other soccer-centric sites, including ESPN’s Soccernet.