The recent ESPN Innovation Bowl is a great example of one of the many ways Full Sail University and ESPN collaborate on projects that give students the opportunity to pitch their ideas to real industry executives. The premise for the Innovation Bowl was a simple one: students had to answer the question, “What would make ESPN better?”
A couple of months and a few rounds of presentations later, Sports Marketing & Media online student Anastasia Banks was named the winner of the competition. Her concept, ESPNMe, is a social media hub built exclusively for sports fans. Anastasia came up with the idea after seeing friends on her Facebook feed get frustrated with all of the sports-related comments they were reading.
“I thought it would be so nice if I was on a social network for sports fans and nobody would ever complain about me talking about sports,” says Anastasia.
Besides the standard social networking features like profile pages and walls to write on, ESPNMe features a few extra apps catered specifically for the sports fan. The Watch Group app allows fans to look up sports bars in any given city and see where fans of their favorite teams gather to watch games, and the Tailgating app lets users plan group tailgating activities and grocery lists on the site before meeting up at the game. ESPN executives praised Anastasia during her final presentation for coming up with original app ideas that they haven’t seen before.
“My goal is to work in the industry and I look at ESPN as being the mecca of sports marketing and media, so I saw this as a potential opportunity to get a direct connection to the brand,” says Anastasia, who is scheduled to graduate in 2015.
Entertainment Business Master’s student Dario Sanchez came in second place with his app idea called The Strategist, which gives sports fans the chance to guess what they think is going to be the next move in a specific game. It’s not a game, but rather an interactive real-time app, where users guess the strategy during live events.
“People get involved with sports in a very emotional way, it drives passion and emotion and all this excitement,” says Dario. “So I thought of an application that can drive the audience to be more involved in the game.”
What do you think of ESPNMe and The Strategist? Would you download them? Let us know in the comments below.