Sports-themed social network Fancred added yet another impressive feather to its cap this month, signing two NFL teams and an NCAA program to its budding stable of partners. After securing a partnership with the Carolina Panthers in early April, the self-proclaimed “fastest growing fan network” announced collaborations with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, as well as the University of Maryland.
Though a relatively new player among the ranks of social media, Fancred’s strengths lie with fan engagement, and these partnerships allow each team the chance to leverage this proficiency. Moreover, to celebrate Tuesday’s Fancred partnership announcement, the Washington Redskins plan to run a “day in the life of” for its organization, and will also publish a host of behind-the-scenes footage and photos.
“For the marketers of these teams, fan commitment and loyalty is priority number one,” says Fancred CEO Hossein Kash Razzaghi, “Fancred gives these teams a great opportunity to interact with and learn from their fanbase.”
With Fancred’s own fanbase growing at a rapid pace — Razzaghi hesitated to share exact numbers due to the its startup status — the app’s capability to collaborate with actual sports teams was as inevitable as its popularity.
These new players join Fancred’s already impressive team lineup, which features the MLB’s Boston Red Sox, Barclays Premier League’s Liverpool football club, and Mississippi State University. Though the app’s partnerships continue to grow, Razzaghi points out he never focused on going directly after teams. “My approach was to build a fanbase of loyal users,” he adds, “if we successfully accomplished this, we knew a sports team would have to join as we grew.”
For the Panthers, Redskins, and Terrapins — the University of Maryland’s athletic mascot — this unique union also gives them a strong platform to provide their fans with premium content such as promotions, exclusive photos, and game day updates. Carolina Panthers team president Danny Morrison says the team’s goal is to “deliver premium content with more personalized fan experiences,” which Fancred gives them the opportunity to accomplish.
“Our fans are consuming our product differently in this digital age,” Morrison adds, “and we want to offer them a place to interact and engage with other Panthers fans who share like-minded interests. What we love about Fancred is that the primary focus is sports.”
Though Fancred is often described as the Facebook or Twitter of sports, Razzaghi says his team feels it’s closer in spirit to LinkedIn. While it does much of what the aforementioned social media sites do for their users, the essence behind its existence arises from the fact that being a sports fan means more than simply liking a sports team. Razzaghi points out that, “sports are a part of people’s cultural and social identity; these fans have a lifelong devotion to their teams.”
With Fancred gaining significant steam among professional and collegiate sports programs, it’s clear Razzaghi’s “fan network” has the ability to ditch the comparisons and carve out its own corner of social media.