Business

JockTalk brings pro-athletes and fans closer together

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JockTalk is a social network for sports nuts and the professional athletes they love (or perhaps love to hate). The new site, announced today at the DEMO Spring 2012 conference in Santa Clara, Calif., combines profile pages, back-and-forth conversations, and original sports content.

There are already plenty of ways for famous types to communicate with their fan bases online, including Facebook fan pages, Twitter, and personal blogs. However, JockTalk founders see those as limited “one-way communication” tools, and wanted to create something with more engagement. With the newsite, jocks, not usually know for their communication skills, will have one place to share their deep thoughts which can then be automatically reposted on other social networks.

“I launched JockTalk to enable better communication between athletes and fans, as well as provide athletes with an opportunity to generate income and awareness for the causes they care about,” said co-founder and former MLB All-Star Shawn Green (pictured above, on the right).

“As an athlete on JockTalk, I’m not changing my online behavior, I’m just changing the location of my behavior, and now I can share in the revenue,” Green said at DEMO.

The site is open to all sports, and has a starting roster of 60 athletes from the NBA, MBL, NHL, NFL, and MLS, along with some Olympians.

The site will face stiff competition from the plethora of sports fan sites out there — as well as Facebook and Twitter. “If it’s for the fan, there’s enough solutions out there … I don’t know if I need yet another way to interact,” said Christine Herron, a director at Intel Capital, on a panel after the company’s presentation.

Founded in 2011 by Brendon Kensel (on the left, above) and Green, JockTalk has raised $375,000 in funding to date. The company is based in Newport Beach, CA and has four full-time employees. The site is currently in private beta.

JockTalk is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

Photo credit: Heather Kelly/VentureBeat


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