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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Can Your Love for Your Favorite Team Lead to Another Relationship?

Fanswipe hopes to capture the passion of sports fans to connect them. (Image via Fanswipe)

Fanswipe hopes to capture the passion of sports fans to connect them. (Image via Fanswipe)

Fanswipe, a New Dating App, Says Yes

Advice articles often suggest where singles should go to meet a potential mate. Go to the gym. Take a class. Hit the coffee shop. Take in a sporting event…

But why wait until you arrive at the stadium to find someone when you can use a new dating app designed to help you connect with someone before that. So says the dating app, Fanswipe, that combines the worlds of dating and sports.

Fanswipe seeks to connect sports fans based on mutual fandom of teams across both professional leagues and college sports using technology to provide everything necessary to put you in the seats with a potential someone special.

In doing so, the platform also looks to bring the benefit of additional traffic to business partners to solve some of their demographic challenges.

THE IDEA FOR THE APP

The Abners wanted to make the app simple and easy to use. (Image via Fanswipe)

The original idea for creating the app came from an entrepreneurial event—you guessed it—at the ballpark.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and R/GA created a partnership and forum to bring sports technology concepts to life through exposure to the expertise of both organizations and their networks.

Brothers Kevin and Edward Abner attended the Dodgers Accelerator event alongside 40-60 entrepreneurs and it was there that they gained inspiration for Fanswipe.

The Abners are no strangers to startups, but as co-founders of the effort, the belief is they have found a niche that capitalizes on both highly desired demographics and integrating technology with other business partners to share that capital.

HOW IT WORKS

Fanswipe allows you to match based on your favorite team. (Image via Fanswipe)

Fanswipe (@Fanswipe_app) combines elements of dating apps that many singles are familiar with and then adds another layer with current and planned integration with other apps. Ultimately, Fanswipe is meant to become a one-stop shop for finding a new single friend as well as finding your way to the game together.

As with many such apps, Fanswipe connects with your Facebook profile to create a presence.

From a list of sports leagues and teams, you select your favorites. Supported are major U.S. pro sports leagues across baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and soccer.

Edwin Abner, Co-Founder of the Fanswipe App, shared some of the targeted strategy for the app.

“We’re targeting Millennials.”

Abner noted that you can interact with anyone. Potential matches aren’t limited by being fans of the same team. “Opposites attract,” Abner remarked. Perhaps (gasp), a Yankees fan might hit it off with a Red Sox fan.

The experience is also meant to be year-round. It’s not limited to being fans of the hometown team or having a shared favorite team in town for a game that night. Of course, that wouldn’t hurt…

In the early stages, Abner shared that they are seeing more heavy usage in metropolitan areas. However, the pair is expecting the footprint to grow with the addition of college sports teams to the app.

Finally, Fanswipe was rolled out featuring a partnership with Ticketmaster to allow fans to find a match and then buy tickets directly through the app to go to a game.

LOOKING AHEAD

The app functions very similar to other dating apps. (Image via Fanswipe)

As referenced above, Fanswipe just added college sports in the form of Division I schools. That’s part of the plan to expand usage beyond more urban areas.

Next up, Abner shared, is adding teams from the WNBA.

“Teams are trying to engage with female fans,” Abner pointed out.

Last year, for example, NFL VP of Marketing Johanna Faries shared that 45% of the NFL’s fans are women when speaking at Super Bowl LI. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the importance of attracting more female fans also was front and center at a forum hosted by the Tampa Bay Sports Commission at last month’s NHL All-Star Game in Tampa.

Fanswipe is looking to be part of the equation to make that happen for teams.

The next major step for Fanswipe is finalizing partnerships with teams to promote the app to their fan bases and bring in increased demographics for the clubs.

With a business model that suggests a greater mix of female fans, the app potentially could be part of the solution for sports franchises in both increasing females and highly desired advertising demographics in their fan bases.

So, the next time you’re at the ballpark or stadium for a game, and you wish you had a reason to be on Kiss Cam, maybe you could pull up the team app, find Fanswipe, find a single friend, and make plans for next time all in one place.

Sports and technology continue to intersect in new ways to create solutions. Whether that solution is for fans, business partners, or all of the above, they say business is all about relationships, right?

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