Sportpost launches with lofty claims but plenty of commercial partners

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[UK] Being given its first marketing push today, London-based is making the rather lofty claim to be “Europe’s first sports social media site”.

Which is far too much hyperbole for what is essentially a site for sports fans that mixes professionally-produced branded channels with user-generated content in the form of discussion forums, video and other content sharing, and blogs.

That said, the company, which is founded by three Loughborough University alumni, all with a sports industry background, has already amassed an impressive range of commercial partners.

These include “superstar” bloggers such as England rugby international James Haskell, 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up and renowned jockey A.P. McCoy, and West Ham footballer Carlton Cole. OK, I’ll admit that the latter is pushing the superstar label a little far.

In return for contributing content, the athletes themselves get to promote their own sponsors, charities and other activities – so that, for example, tennis player Caroline Wozniacki’s page is being used to promote her affiliation with Adidas. There’s also the possibility of a share in ad-revenue.

Additionally, a number of big brands have signed on to have their own HD video channel on the site, such as Nike Football, Red Bull, Monster Energy, UFC, Laureus Sports and World Sport TV. There’s also a tie-in with Labrokes for a betting section and content from online video platform Brightcove.

As for sports fans, well they get to be the site’s editors, Peter Janes, Managing Director of Sportpost tells me. Except, of course, in the case of all those branded ‘premium’ channels. They can share content, upload video and take part in discussion forums and, err, blog.

Sportpost says that in the site’s testing phase the demographics of users tended to be male (over 90%) in the 18-40 age bracket (over 70%). While the vast majority are ABC1 (over 70%), university educated (over 50%) and “almost all have high disposable incomes.”

When I put it to Janes that Sportpost, at least on the surface, wasn’t entirely original and certainly not the first sporting social media site, he replied:

“The term sports social media is quite ambiguous. I agree, that single format user generated sites have existed before, for example. However, a multi faceted social media site such as this has never existed in Europe before. We have taken the successful models adopted in the US (Fannation, Yardbarker) and brought them to a European audience with different tastes.”

Presumably then, it’s the mixture of professionally produced content, including HD video, from Sportpost’s commercial partners and UCG that the company hopes will set it apart from competitors.

Well that clears that one up then. I think.

Sportpost is backed by angels and private investors, including the chef Raymond Blancto, to the tune of $600,000.

  • http://@marvindanig arvind

    Very soon the copy-masters will follow suit for IPL in India, and Sumo wrestling in Japan… vaporware is pervasive after all; coz its vapor :-)

  • CompareChecker

    Always cool seeing young brits putting in a good effort with a venture like this.

    On another note Steve, I Googled sportpost, the site has been operating since 2008 and if the 400,000 uniques and projected revenue they were claiming back then are true they are definitely onto something.

  • Gav Larson

    Yeah looks great, have been waiting for something like this to hit the UK for a while. Good luck

  • Ben Clarke

    Wow. Looks really cool! the list of athletes involved is really good

  • Little Miss Jones

    Should shake a few things up. Have always thought the BBC was so dry. This site looks really colourful and well put together. Have been on it for 30min without realising. Signed up already

  • Nigel Eccles

    There is definitely an opportunity for a professionally developed site like this in the UK and European sports market.

    There have been a couple like Fannation in the US that have built good sites and then gone on to successful exits. With sports betting legal in most of Europe I think the opportunity here could be even bigger.

  • Ashley

    These guys steal content (both images and words) from other blogs in a systematic and sinister way. They are thieves.

    hey are basically thieving content from one of Anorak Publishing’s sites as well as other blogs too. They take the full content and the image (we have a deal with PA so we pay for those) and publish it on their site.

    They do provide a link to the original content, but it is framed by their URL and their ads

    look at this

    the original

    on sportspost –

    the link –

    Almost every website links to other sites and will often take paragraphs or quotes. But to systematically steal content is wrong.

    • Ashley

      I have spoken to the guys at Sportspost and they have explained what happenned and have taken the Pies posts down. It was a bit of a misunderstanding, but I do feel that the way the site links to other people’s content could be improved.

      Nevertheless, the site looks good and I wish them all the best.

      • Charlie

        Thanks Ashley, we are sorry for the confusion and we are currently reviewing the way we link to external links.

    • Jon

      So they just collate RSS feeds and put their own advertising around it?

  • Shafqat

    Agree with Nigel – a big opportunity here. No single sports brand has taken massive marketshare in Europe (at least not compared to the US sites mentioned above). The real challenge will be Sportpost’s ability to go pan-European and really cater to the full European/Worldwide audience. They’re off to a fantastic start, and the commercial deals are certainly impressive.

    Well done guys!

  • Zeev Rozov

    I founded Sportingo and sportingo a lot of years in this space, good luck to you it is going to be much harder than you expect

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  • Oh please

    I like it, idea has legs and if they say they have the traction that they do, I think they’ll make it!

  • Steven

    Well done on the launch guys. The new site is looking great!

  • Paul

    Good work guys. Always nice to see a UK startup with big ambitions.

    Not so sure picking a bird with a tattoo for your welcome video is the best image for your stated demographic (or indeed for any welcome video, unless its adult content or a rock band perhaps)

    • jim bob

      Haha – prude! You can barely see it!

      I believe the girl is a sports presenter on various satellite channels.

      • Steve

        Ooops accidentally used my other non-de-plume. *ahem*

  • mark

    Surely using their video player to host UEFA Champions League videos ripped from AlJazeera is not a good start to get on the good books of sports federations and rightsholders:

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