|By Business Wire||
|June 11, 2014 06:37 AM EDT||
PiPsports, a sports photography application for iOS and Android, today announced the company is officially launching the PiPsports app following a beta period, supported by $200,000 in seed funding from a group of strategic investors. The funding will be used to grow PiPsports’ international user base during this summer’s high profile sporting events and tournaments, and further develop the photography app.
PiPsports allows sports fans to create customised photos (Graphic: Business Wire)
The PiPsports app allows sports fans to create personalized photos of live sports games, enhanced with real-time data from international sports data company OPTA, to capture their sporting memories and show support for their favourite team. Sports fans can use the app to take photos of the sporting action, and overlay the image with one of a section of ‘skins’. Each skin includes live data from OPTA, such as the current score, location, team and game statistics, match/event name and team crests and logos, to create a fully personalized image. Statistics from OPTA can be overlaid in real-time when taking a photo, provided the user has a data connection on Wifi or 3/4G.
Once captured the photos can be shared on a fan’s Facebook account or direct to the PiPsports stream, which allows other fans to follow the game or event through fan-generated images. Fans can also follow PiPsports streams, which combine all shared photos of a selected team, for over 1,000 teams across six different sports; football, American football, basketball, cricket, Australian rules football and Formula 1.
The seed funding is the first significant investment in company following the release of the PiPsports beta app in November 2013. Over 225,000 sports fans have downloaded the beta version, and the company is aiming to hit one million users by the end of 2014 with the full version launched. Users are collectively sharing thousands of images per week, peaking around key sporting events such as the upcoming World Cup, Premier League games and Formula 1 races over the summer. The investment and launch have been timed to capitalise on the increased global interest in sport during this summer’s major tournaments and sporting events.
The funding has been raised from a group of investors made up of a sporting executive, a former Australian professional footballer, the founder and CEO of PiPsports Steven Rogers, co-founder Lena Savitsky, and one private investor. Lucas Neill, an Australian professional footballer and former Australian international team captain, will also support PiPsports as a brand ambassador from the app’s official launch. Neill has spent over 15 years of his career playing in England, appearing for professional clubs including Everton, West Ham, Blackburn Rovers and, most recently, Watford.
The new investors will take a minority stake in PiPsports. The following have all contributed to the funding in PiPsports:
- PJ Roberts: Former Australian professional footballer and current TV pundit with FOX/Star Sports and one of Asia’s largest telecommunications companies, Singtel.
- Chris Welch: owner and managing director of ESB Holdings, a global events and sponsorship consultancy working with sporting enterprises and individuals. Chris also founded the iSport GP2 Team, which he sold in 2013, and is an active investor in a variety of start-up businesses
- Steven Rogers, CEO and founder, and Lena Savitsky, co-founder, of PiPsports
The investment will be used to grow the PiPsports’ user base, develop new app features, add new sports and league data, and add new photo skins for additional teams. Adding new sports will broaden the appeal of PiPsports to large fan bases of existing teams, as well as increase the number of leagues and championships that either take place all year round or will begin before the end of the year. New sports being added include all major global football/soccer leagues, Major League Baseball, tennis, golf and athletics championships, with a long term aim of supporting all sports and allowing fans in every part of the world to show support for their favourite teams and players.
“We kept the initial beta release of the PiPsports app quite low key, and have still attracted over 200,000 fans and become the highest rated sports photography app on the Apple and Google Play app stores” comments Steven Rogers, founder and CEO of PiPsports. “There is a real appetite for personalized content from sports fans when they’re at a live game or watching their favourite team. Everyone gets excited when their team is winning, and they often want to share this passion online. We anticipate this will peak during the summer, with the World Cup and other major tournaments grabbing fans’ attention.
“The seed funding we’ve raised will assist in continuing to grow the user base and support more sports in the app. Adding more sports is essential, as it allows us to reach a larger demographic of sports fans and, at the same time, increases the amount of content being shared and engagement with the PiPsports streams, and PiPsports content on Facebook. By adding new sports, we’re confident we’ll reach one million users by the end of 2014.”
“PiPsports is a great example of how fans’ passion for their team and sport can be channelled and enhanced through technology” comments Lucas Neill, PiPsports ambassador and former captain of the Australian international football team. “Adding in the real-time statistics makes the photos highly sharable, and fans love seeing and interacting with each other through such a rich medium.”
The new version of the PiPsports app, released today, includes several new features not available in the beta version:
- Follow friends feature: fans can follow other fans within the app, as they currently do with teams, to see how friends are supporting their favourite teams
- New skins: additional skin options for photos, which include new statistics from newly added sports
- iOS 7: new version is optimised for iOS 7, integrating several new features from the latest Apple software release including faster CPU performance for photo capture and sharing as well as improved overall app clarity, translucency, and depth
- Discovery: updated discover feature highlights the most popular photos shared by PiPsports fans
- Improved social media sharing
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PiPsports is a sports photography app for iOS and Android that enhances the game experience for sports fans. Using live data feeds from market leader OPTA to populate photos taken by fans, PiPsports enables them to quickly and easily capture and share personalized photos.
Combining location and game stats, PiPsports gives users a selection of skins to put over their photo to show where they are, which teams they are watching, the score and also timing of key game events such as goals, penalties and red cards. Photos can be shared to Facebook and also the PiPsports stream – giving users a unique perspective of the game through fan-generated coverage.
PiPsports is a privately funded company, founded in May 2013. The ‘PiP’ in PiPsports stands for Personalized Informatics Pictures (with informatics referring to the study of interactions between humans and information).
OPTA is the world's leading sports data company, and collects, packages, analyses and distributes more live data, in more detail, than any other sporting organization. CNN, ESPN, BBC Sport, Eurosport, Sky Sports, BT Sport, ITV Sport, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror Betfair, Ladbrokes, Sky Bet, and many others all reply on data delivered by OPTA.
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