Singapore-based sports photography app PiPSports might be the answer to die-hard sports fans looking to document the matches they root for. Users get to upload photos with various statistics – geolocation, weather and game – added as a skin, and interact with fellow fans.
First launched in November 2013 on iOS and then later in January 2014 on Android, the sports social network has garnered 100,000 and 10,000 users on the two platforms respectively. The company, which was incorporated in March 2013, claimed that 36 per cent of the app’s user base can be attributed to Asia Pacific.
Co-founder and CEO, PiPSports, Steven Rogers
In an exclusive interview with e27, Steven Rogers, CEO and Co-founder, PiPSports shared that most sports fans in Asia never get a chance to make it to a real game in their entire life. Thus, PiPSports is their new, digital way of connecting with other supporters.
“For us to predict what we will get at the end of the year will be crazy. But I can say that we want to hit 250,000 users by the middle of February,” said Rogers.
At the moment, there are four sports feeds available, namely Soccer, American Football, Basketball and Racing. Soccer seems to be the most popular sport for now, with 14 leagues, including the English Premier League, all major European leagues, Major League Soccer (US) and the Hyundai A League.
Rogers said that within the soccer feed itself, there has been 16,000 photos viewed by some 310,000 followers. Thailand also happens to be a huge supporter of soccer, which sees the country ranked as one of the biggest markets for PiPSports. Philippines, on the other hand, has a bigger market for basketball fans, he added.
In addition to support their favourite clubs, many users are known to “follow” rival clubs as well, to understand the sentiment on the ground. An average user would typically follow the club they support, one rival club and a club from a totally unrelated sport. He said, “It’s about engaging with each other, as much as it is about engaging with players and teams.”
At the moment, PiPSports markets to newer regions with targeted advertising – both on mobile and digital platforms – and social media marketing strategies on Twitter and Facebook. At the moment, there are nearly 4,000 likes on its Facebook fan page, and 94 followers on Twitter. PiPSports noted that it is a very new channel for the company, and its Twitter user base isn’t representative of its progress thus far.
Marketing through partnerships seems to be something the company is excited about. Rogers added, “There are conversations, but no partnerships we can talk about right now. … Strategic partnerships essentially allow us to reach the fans and we are able to gain new audiences.”
Currently, PiPSports has not started monetising within the app, but Rogers noted that there are quite a number of ways to go about doing it. He said that one way could take the form of sponsorships or advertising, where users are shown native advertisements on the app itself.