In today’s tech world, sports fans have a plethora of options to get their news, whether it’s national media outlets like ESPN and Yahoo!, team websites like Mariners.com or social media hubs such as Twitter and Facebook.
Sometimes, though, all that information can be excessive — and that’s exactly where Fanzo wants to lend a helping hand.
The Kirkland-based startup just debuted its app that aggregates any type of sports-related content — whether it’s a breaking news article or a fan photo posted on Instagram — and then uses an algorithm for each platform based on things like re-tweets or Facebook likes to rank the content.
The end product is a filtered feed within the Fanzo app that aggregates the most popular articles, photos, videos and posts based on social influence instead of decisions made by an editor.
“Nobody is curating the fan voice, ranking it, then putting in the spotlight in real time,” Fanzo co-founder Dana Dyksterhuis said.
Fanzo first entered this crowded space last fall with a scoring system that ranked fans of specific teams based on their level of activity and engagement on Twitter and other social networks. That idea got some initial traction, but the folks at Fanzo wanted to add something more.
That’s where content came into play. Fanzo still features the fan rankings, but now allows you view streaming feeds for specific MLB teams, with plans to expand to football soon and eventually other sports.
“No longer do you need to go to multiple sources to get your info,” Dyksterhuis said. “We take away that work for you and cut through the noise so you don’t need to deal with the junk anymore.”
Fanzo’s new content stream makes it possible for the average fan to get his or her content easily noticed. The app enables those who don’t have thousands of followers to attract attention, so long as it’s catching on with everyone else.
“Even if you have 200 Twitter followers, if you tweet out something fun and cool and get a certain amount of engagement, it will appear in the Fanzo live stream as a hot piece of content,” explained Dyksterhuis.
Dyksterhuis, a former news reporter and PR veteran, co-founded the company last year with Paul Ingalls, the former vice president of technology at Smilebox who heard a 15-second pitch from Dyksterhuis of the concept at a Lean Startup event that he was attending.
Since then, Fanzo graduated from the Windows Azure Accelerator, added three more employees and raised $350,000 from investors like Andrew Wright, Rudy Gadre, Geoff Entress, Tim Wan and C.Y. Lee.
The startup hopes to make money via sponsorships and targeted advertising around custom team, player and event streams. For example, a “March Madness” channel could be sponsored, and likewise for a “Mariners” channel. There’s also an idea around fans and in-app purchases.
Fanzo is only available for iOS and you can check it out here. For more insight into Fanzo’s story, listen to the GeekWire podcast this past March when we welcomed Dyksterhuis into our studios to talk about the future of being a sports fan.
Previously on GeekWire: Testing IdealSeat: Can big data help me catch a foul ball?