Sqor has come up with an ingenious way to enhance the fan/athlete relationship.
They have taken the social media experience to a whole other level, With the click of a button any athlete or team on the Sqor roster can create their own content in real time. News on any team or personality is available at your fingertips. Today's sports personalities are creating content that is fully available to members of Sqor giving them an interactive experience like no other.
I had the pleasure to speak with Sqor CEO, Brian Wilhite, who talks about their commitment to this new platform.
The GM’s Perspective: Can you give the reader’s an understanding of what Sqor is and what your company is trying to accomplish?
Brian Wilhite: We’ve built a social network dedicated specifically to sports, but more specifically to the athlete/fan relationship. I was looking at the world of sports a few years ago (I started the company approximately three years ago), and I observed that something was missing in the sports eco-system. And if you think about sports globally and with the World Cup going on right now, most of how the sports product is delivered to us around the team, the league, and the game.
What I thought was missing was a product that was dedicated to the athlete, the great performances of the athlete, and that relationship with the fan and the athlete.
Athlete’s today move around, not like years ago. Years ago or decades ago and you were a San Francisco Giants fan you knew team from the time you were ten years old until you went to college. Now that team changes every couple years. The athletes come and go and the bond or affinities you develop with these players, and once they leave or move on to a different team, that relationship kind of dies. It shouldn’t be like that.
We built our product: Sqor, which focused exclusively on sports. We have editorial content and social content all coming into one place. As a fan you select the athletes and the sports, and the team you want to follow, and at that point forward you get relative content.
GMs: Is there any interaction between the fan and the athlete specifically. On twitter you can message back and forth. Is there anything like that on Sqor?
BW: Yeah, we’re starting to see a lot more of it. One of the features (tool sets) that we built into our platform is that we’ve made it easy for the fan and the athlete to create and publish content. As a fan, we all want to get closer to the athlete. The closer we are, the cooler it is. We see a lot of athlete’s publishing exclusive and unique content on Sqor. There is a way for the fan to comment on it, and now we are seeing a lot of interaction back and forth. Just this week we had quite a few MMA fighters going back and forth with posts, and we had one in particular that was making some posts about the training he was doing this weekend. A couple of the fans commented on the how much they appreciate how he approaches the health aspect and commented on how successful he was.
You begin to witness this whole dialogue that occurred and that’s what it’s all about.
GMs: Especially for a fan to read the content written by the athlete, and in-turn have the athlete respond to the fan, it really means a lot.
GMs: What has drawn these athletes to your company?
BW: One is that we speak to them and let them know that we are on the same side of the fence. We are all about making them better at controlling, managing, and really speaking with their audience. By investing our resources and building a software platform that is dedicated to that athlete and that fan/athlete relationship.
The benefit to doing that is that we are giving the athlete the ability to control and manage the messaging in addition to the back-and-forth with the fans. The athlete can really take ownership of that fan base. Other platforms don’t do that.
The athlete is the content creator. It’s their content, their audience, and that’s why we’re around the athletes. We do a revenue share with the athlete and help them monetize their audience. Unlike other sports portals that are out there that simply build the audience on the backs of the athletes and don’t revenue share, we don’t do that. We’re financially aligned and philosophically aligned with all parties involved.
GMs: How does the athlete strike up a relationship with Sqor?
BW: Sometimes athletes go to Sqor.com and they send us direct messages or their agents or handlers contact us. But most of the time we work with agents/agent groups and public relations or their marketing team and explain Sqor to them. It’s typically the athlete’s agent we work directly with when trying to bring them on board.
GMs: If I read correctly, Brett Favre is one of your biggest supporters and is actually on the Board of Directors. How did Mr. Favre become so involved with your company?
BW: Through a mutual relationship, I was introduced to Brett through his agent approximately four years ago. We sat down and I talked with him about my vision, and what I wanted to do for the athlete. I showed him some of early versions of Sqor and how it worked. It was a really good conversation, and Brett understood my vision and what I wanted to build. He was really excited about it and one of the things he said was “I wish you were doing this ten years ago”. Brett saw the value and wanted to be supportive and be as helpful as he could. That night we built that relationship and over the last four years we’ve evolved, the product has evolved and Brett has become more involved. He’s been a big part of us keeping our north star focus on the athlete, and his/her fan base. Brett is a great advocate and a great guy to have in the company.
GMs: For anyone trying to reach out and join up with Sqor or log in and get connected, what’s the easiest way?
BW: Easiest way is to go to Sqor.com and you can have a great experience right from your browser whether you’re on your mobile device or computer. Or you can download our iOS app for Apple. We’re going to have an Android app towards the end of July. When you join, you can select a few athletes to follow, some teams to follow, and from that point forward you’ll start experiencing the product. I encourage followers to follow other fans as well. You can start building your network that way.