Sports is such an important part of everyday life. The way we consume sports has changed over the years. From radio to live updates on Twitter, it's possible to consume sports from practically anywhere. ClutchPoints is one organization that is altering the way sports consumption is changing forever. I spoke with the Founder of ClutchPoints, Nish Patel, to discuss what this initiative is all about and what makes it different from what's already on the market.
Chirag: How did you get involved with this venture and how did it all start?
Nish: Originally, it started with me as a devoted basketball fan. I wanted to make watching sports more engaging. As a college student, I started the project out of my dorm room in 2012. Since then, it's accumulated 10 million followers on social media, which gives us a reach of 150 million monthly fans. We launched our first mobile application, ClutchPoints, in 2015.
Chirag: What features makes ClutchPoints different?
Nish: What we are creating is something that acts as a more visual version of Twitter, combined with Reddit for all live sports games. ClutchPoints is not just a live stream; it is a live social stream. Throughcurated content, users are able to stay updated on the sporting events they care about.
You can follow every game in real-time, with all the important events complete with highlights. You get all the stats and live reactions, even if you're nowhere near a TV.
And with the ClutchPoints app, you have a second screen to keep up with how the general public is reacting. In other words, you have the full 360-degree experience at your disposal.
Chirag: What makes ClutchPoints stand out from the competition?
Nish: The likes of BleacherReport, ESPN, and YahooSports are great for getting direct news. We want to do the same, but ClutchPoints adds a dynamic layer to go with it. We want to provide real-time updates, but with all the energy of the live game emotion that comes with that.
Our algorithm pulls only the most relevant interactions from the game, including Vines, in-game photos, and Tweets. We know how important this is because 84% of young people say they have left sites because of irrelevant content.
Chirag: Where do you think the mobile sports market is going?
Nish: It's going to keep growing! 70% of our users used desktop in 2012, now that proportion has dwindled down to just 20%. People are becoming busier and they want to stay connected from anywhere. They aren't able to sit down and just watch sports for three hours any longer.
The online revolution allows and encourages everyone to stay connected at all times, even if they're in the middle of nowhere. These trend will only increase its power.
Chirag: Where are companies in sporting industries looking to invest in marketing?
Nish: Sporting companies are focusing on knowing fans more intimately than ever before. This is allowing them to spend their budget more efficiently. We do the same with ClutchPoints. We want to know as much as possible about our target audience from a data perspective.
That's the key to our algorithm. It's how we can make sure we are delivering the most relevant content. And also ensures we are developing and spending development budget as efficiently as we can.
Chirag: What is the makeup of the ClutchPoints team?
Nish: Right now, we are a bootstrapped company with 10 full-time team members. In addition, there are dozens of writers working on a freelance basis. Outside of that we have a team of developers to keep the system running. As we enter this exciting growth expansion stage in the market, we will be significantly ramping up the development team, and the executive team, such as hiring a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) to scale partnerships.
Chirag: What has been the greatest challenge for your team?
Nish: By far, the issue has been time. Sports moves so quickly that we find it difficult to keep up. With all the sports stories and the breaking news, we have had to overcome the challenge of staying relevant. Now we have a massive fan base to leverage that, but it wasn't always the case that we had this kind of momentum.
Chirag: What has been the big high of your team and what are you planning for the future?
Nish: After the 2016 NBA Championships, the team went to Cleveland for the parade and to meet ClutchPoints partners based there. For us, we got to enjoy the spectacle of it all, as well as giving us the chance to bond with each other.
As for the future, our roadmap is a quick expansion to the NFL, MLB, NCAA, NHL, and as many different sports as we can. We have proved that our idea is viable and now the goal is to scale it so that the billions of sports fans around the world can enjoy. Our ultimate vision is to become the number one sports social media network.
Chirag: Thank you for joining me today!