The New York Islanders announced a partnership with SportsYapper through a statement released to the press on Wednesday, September 12. The partnership is the first of its kind for the Islanders, as well as SportsYapper’s first official sponsorship deal with a professional sports franchise.
SportsYapper, a recently founded social media start-up, is designed primarily to give sports fan a mobile platform through which they can “yapp” about their favorite sports. According to the company’s official website, SportsYapper creates “a place that gives you, the real sports fan, a home for sports chatter.” If fans spot good plays or bad calls, SportsYapper gives them the ability to “yapp it” with other likeminded individuals across the country.
The creation of the company’s concept is credited to Eric Goldstein and Dave Grossman, two lifelong sports fans and insiders to the social media industry. The duo later brought the idea to Darren Bounds, technologist and internet entrepreneur, and the three co-founded the company in partnership with Kenny Dichter, Brian Perkins, and first baseman for the New York Yankees, Mark Teixeira.
In the NY Islanders’ press release, Goldstein is quoted as stating he and his partners “created SportsYapper to give fans everywhere a place to connect with friends while they’re watching a game,” and they are “excited to be partnering with the New York Islanders to bring SportsYapper to their great fans.”
SportsYapper will sponsor in-game promotions as part of their strategic partnership. The promotion, called “You Gotta Yapp That,” asks fans at all Islanders home games to use the company’s service to discuss game highlights, and will also connect with fans watching the game from home. In addition to the promotion, players will “yapp” with fans during practices and games to “engage in more Islanders-centric social conversation.”
According to Paul Lancey, SVP of Sales for the Islanders, they consider themselves an “innovative hockey team when it comes to social media marketing,” and they hope to use their exclusive partnership with SportsYapper to “take another big jump in the digital space.” Lancey believes that SportsYapper has a great platform and business model for the industry, and he thinks the social media start-up is here to stay.
The SportsYapper mobile application is available for free download onto iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. According to the Islanders’ press announcement, the application has reached as high as No. 12 on Apple’s list of top free sports apps since its release, and it has been “favorably received” by renowned publications like The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and PC Magazine.
SportsYapper’s platform could soon make big waves in both the sports and social media industries, although the current NHL lockout could prove disastrous for the novel partnership. The NHL regular season was initially scheduled to begin on October 11, with the Islanders facing the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, October 12. However, because of the recent failed CBA negotiations between the NHL and its players’ association, it’s anyone’s guess as to when the teams will hit the ice and fans can start “yapping.”