A Social Sports Startup
Creative Director, Mobile App Designer, Web Developer, Branding Guru, Video Animator and Editor
GameUp is social sports platform that connects you to people that you care about in real-time while you watch sports either at home or at the stadium. When you’re watching a game, you’re texting, tweeting and posting on Facebook to communicate with your friends.
We want to consolidate all of the current social sports activity into one communal place.
GameUp allows you to instead watch games with your friends, catch live play-by-play, share comments, post and view pictures, and enjoy sports in a brand new way.
Sports are inherently social but sports telecasts are not.Joshua Glick, CMO
The Birth of a Startup
The GameUp brand and platform was built from the ground up thanks to hard work from a dedicated, passionate team. We hit the ground running from day 1.
We soon found that our team and talents were a large part of our success garnering investor support and our incubator partnership with UT Athletics. The GameUp team shown left to right: Alex Grunstein and Nick Myers, Social Media; Preston Holland, COO; Bryce Holland, CEO; Myself, Creative Director and App Designer; and Joshua Glick, CMO.
Even during our initial research and development of our market plan I was already creating branding guidelines, technical requirement docs and mobile app wireframes
The GameUp brand is essential to how we represented ourselves to our users, prospects, investors, and analysts. Our identity strategy was to ensure we're perceived as a one-of-a-kind open, mobile, and social sports entertainment platform while communicating a cohesive and unique style.
I created brand guidelines as building blocks to creating a stronger identity; and a stronger identity equated to a stronger brand launch.
What started as a roadmap of features quickly went from wireframes to mockups. Development-ready mockups and source files gave us the ability to create a prototype. This prototype allowed us to tap/slide to simulate the experience while still being just a series of linked mockups. The driving force was the social component that's currently missing from almost all sports mobile and web apps in the marketplace, however design and user experience were highly valued from the beginning.
The second screen had become an integral part of the game, and the app's design and flow needed to enhance the viewing experience
We were able to utilize these simple prototypes to garner feedback from team members and investor pitches, and we soon realized we needed to simplify our initial launch. While gamification and merchandising were going to stay on the roadmap, we narrowed it down to a few key areas.
GameUp Beta included the ability to see which friends were checked into a game (either in stadium or remotely), the ability to check into a game yourself, and access to a one-stop shop feed of friend posts, team posts, pictures, and play-by-plays to really supplement your game-viewing experience. This is what we went to market with in coordination with Texas Athletics for our November 2011 launch.
As we continued to speak with investors, our partnership with Texas Athletics was quickly picking up. We were not only allowed to make our partnership public, we were also able to promote the launch of our app on the jumbotron during the UT vs Kansas St game in front of a sold out crowd. We had the opportunity to launch in coordination with one of the most profitable and highly valued Division I college football programs in the country.
While invaluable to say the least, we now had a hard deadline, and our online strategy leading up to the game was going to be a large part of our success. I created a single-page HTML5 website and intro video that helped generate a lot of buzz the week leading up to the big game, including several downloads of the app. Our pre-game guerilla marketing strategy, including game-day tailgating swag, drove a steady stream of traffic to the website as well. The followers area of the site also helped bring in more twitter followers that week.
We really wanted the website to meet the same standards of design and best practices that we had set for our mobile app.
We also optimized for SEO and worked with Austin-born Social Distillery to ensure our Facebook and Twitter were showcasing our video and providing seamless messaging.
On gameday, we had already had a small user base that was posting tailgating pictures prior to the game. During the game we measured activity and held a photo contest via the jumbotron. The first screen was displayed during the 2nd timeout of the first quarter encouraging users to download the app and upload their game pics. The second screen congratulated our randomly-selected winner.
The ability to carve out a self-selecting social sports niche within a user’s broad Facebook community lets the user share more about the teams they love.Social Distillery
GameUp recognized that sports is the only remaining area of television where viewers do not watch time-delayed programming.CultureMap Austin
Enjoy the Tournament with friends who aren't within bounce-passing distance thanks to this ATX start-up, who just made SXSWaves...Thrillist Austin