GameChanger Media Makes a Play to Broaden Sports Stats App in 2012

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offers a “freemium” model to fans who want to subscribe to game feeds. Subscribers spend about $8 per month or about $40 for one-year subscriptions for live-streaming of play-by-play and to receive alerts about the games via Twitter, e-mail, or text messages. “We stream that data to the Web and turn that into content for fans and parents,” Sullivan says.

The game content is primarily available at GameChanger Media’s website, but it can added to any blog or website through a scoreboard widget, Sullivan says. GameChanger Media also publishes recap stories online, with the help of Chicago startup Narrative Science, based on data from the games.

In addition to the freemium model, GameChanger Media derives revenues from advertising and sponsorships. Sports equipment providers, for example, can target their marketing to teams, athletes and their families through GameChanger Media. Sullivan says he is pitching his company’s services to restaurants that might want to offer postgame deals to teams. “We know where the games and practices are happening and when they are over,” Sullivan says. “We can deliver a coupon to all the fans of a particular team when their team wins and give a free sandwich or pizza to the team MVP, because we know exactly how he or she did in that game.”

High-end software for tracking stats is available to professional teams, Sullivan says, which often hire dedicated staff members to record game data. “Our product is designed to be used by someone who is not a trained expert in baseball scorekeeping,” he says. Companies such as Stats Inc. also gather data from professional games for use by fantasy sports companies. “Our goal was to take that some concept to the consumer level,” Sullivan says.

Sports and technology represent two aspects of Sullivan’s life. He pitched for the Cleveland Indians’ Minor League team and, along with his brother Brendan, founded a sports camp in the Washington, DC-area called Headfirst. Brendan currently runs the camp full-time, Sullivan says. After Sullivan left the camp business, he went on to earn his MBA from Harvard Business School. In 2006 he joined Rave Wireless (now Rave Mobile Safety), a mobile apps company, where he worked in business development and marketing until the end of 2008.

GameChanger Media plans to adapt its platform to other types of youth sports such as soccer, Sullivan says, though he’s not in any rush to pursue football or other male-dominated games. “Football is its own animal,” he says. “I don’t think it’s the perfect sport for us.” The limited number of games per season and the lack of teams for girls keep that sport from scaling into a big business opportunity, Sullivan says. He is scouting for sports with wide appeal that he can add to the app. “Boys and girls sports scale better,” Sullivan says. “Those are sports where the ROI is better.”

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