Sportsmanias has taken a historic step towards making sports news personalized, easily accessible, and of the highest quality for diehard fans with the launch of the free Team News app for iOS and Android because of a 1M investment by Mas Equity Partner. Their sports technology startup was founded in October 2012 by a Miami-based, Cuban mother/son team of Aymara Del Aguila and son Vicente J. Fernandez. They graciously spoke to the Sports Techie blog and our community on the eve of their major sports business announcements.
Sportsmanias.com, the leading real-time team news aggregator, was named as such because they want to be the platform for fans and their mania where they can feed off each other’s passions. More and more sports fans are going to the Internet instead of traditional newspapers because bloggers and social media have changed the nature of news aggregation.
The App was therefore designed to search, find and distribute 24/7 professional beat writer journalism along with major sports team and player tweets. Their research uncovered a need for personalized news coverage that is curated from their favorite team’s local beat writers that is not available from ESPN, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation and Bleacher Report. The model is projected as ‘straight from the guys who get it, Sportsmanias gets it to you’, featuring beat writers as the best source for inside scoop on teams.
Sportsmanias.com has experienced tremendous growth in its initial nine months, receiving 500,000 Unique Monthly Visitors to its website. Aymara said, “Sportsmanias has filled an unmet need in the sports industry.” Local beat writers, who provide top-notch news for a particular team, have lost audience in their traditional newspaper presence during the rise of influential bloggers and non-stop social media.
Vicente’s passion for sports and acclaimed writing has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors. His company vision was to deliver higher caliber sports news by creating individualized team feeds. Fans now have a complete mix of tweets and news coverage from beat writers across the nation whom collectively cover every professional and collegiate team. Sportsmanias is your home for news, tweets, scores, schedules and standings all in one interface at worm-hole speed.
Vicente, a Sports Techie student-athlete and sports writer at the University of Chicago, and Aymara, an advertising executive workaholic, shared a vision to create a sports space where avid fans can get the content they want, how they want it. Vicente is the consummate diehard himself shaping Sportsmanias and its content. Aymara is the marketer whom identified the opportunity to improve the digital news experience for sports fans, based on her son’s consumer habits. She shared with Sports Techie how they have what is considered to be built-in consumers with the Hispanic and Gen Y target markets, in addition to all males, 18-34.
Team News mobile app
Mas Equity Partner’s investment comes as Sportsmanias rolls out key updates to its Team News mobile app including a Rumor Filter, which collects league and team-specific rumors from top rumor sites, and a Video Filter, which aggregates footage from YouTube and Twitter that fans often miss.
The filters use a proprietary algorithm to mine rumors and videos in real-time. The updated app also features easier navigation, improved visuals, a scoreboard for games in progress and keyword searches that allow fans to further customize their newsfeed.
You will find it is easy to customize your page. Once you are signed in with an email address or else with your Twitter or Facebook user name, the App’s interface has three main tabs: My Teams, My Profile, Rumors.
The company partnered in its earliest phase with NFL star wide receiver Julio Jones on the Atlanta Falcons and Jeremy Maclin of the Philadelphia Eagles to help increase exposure and downloads. Most everything is in English, however, the Mexican League and La Liga are delivered in Spanish, while AC Milan is in Italian.
Mas Equity Partners
Mas Equity Partners has invested $1 million in the startup, which has bolstered its rapidly growing presence in the sports news industry. “Sportsmanias is the future of sports news,” said Jorge Mas, founder of Mas Equity Partners. “Their team has figured out how to combine the speed and convenience of social media with the intelligence and depth of traditional journalism.”
“We are honored to partner with Jorge Mas and Mas Equity Partners,” said Fernandez. “Mas is a true sports fan and a strong supporter of Miami’s local teams. His passion for what we do and his track record of success will help Sportsmanias continue to feed avid sports fans the content they crave, as we cater to diehards’ dedication to their favorite teams.”
Mr. Mas is also Chairman of the Board of MasTec, a $4 billion infrastructure engineering and construction company based in Coral Gables, Fla.
“Sportsmanias is the easiest, fastest and most complete source of team news out there,” said Del Aguila. “With our current growth rate, we expect to reach 1.5 million Unique Monthly Visitors by the end of this year. Sportsmanias features beat writers who eat, breathe and live sports as their profession, delivering breaking news everyday, every few minutes, on fans’ favorite teams.”
The sports news aggregator site for diehard fans, Sportsmanias displays 24/7 professional news as personalized feeds. Fans are delivered news, tweets, videos and rumors about the teams they love by the beat writers that cover them. The team continually refines the sports news experience from offices in Miami and New York. Straight from the guys who get it. Sportsmanias gets it to you. For more information, visit Sportsmanias.com, @Sportsmanias.
Sports Techie, How cool is a free app created for diehard sports fans that delivers news straight from teams’ beat writers by using social algorithms that scrape tweets, images, headlines, and videos, so you can engage with customized content on your Apple iPhone and iPad, or with any of a number of other smartphone and tablet manufacturers such as Samsung. Aymara emphasized that they wish and plan to help newspaper writers bring content to the masses while also linking back to newspaper, in what she calls a sportsbiz, “win-win.”
Revenue will come in the form of advertisement such as ad banners on the web site, as well as working with agencies and custom sponsorships, and endorsements.
As the initial founder, Aymara invested $500 thousand to bring this sports tech platform and app from vision to a proof of concept. Her management team is led by Luis Gutierrez, National Director of Sales, with 25+ years in the sports online ad industry. He grew Fox Sports en Español from zero sales to 41 National Advertisers and $7.1 MM billings in ’05.
Mr. Santos is considered the perfect investor by Aymare and Vicente, not only is he a strategic partner and die-hard fan himself with court side seats at the Heat games, he is also a master networker and relationship builder.
Vicente said, “Sportsmanias is designed to be the easiest, fastest, most complete source of team news on web and mobile. We feed diehards what they want, how they want it.”
Look for a web site redesign in January, 2014, when they estimate that 1.5 million eyeballs will have Sportsmanias. While there are other sports news aggregators in the space, none converge social media with traditional journalism on a local level like the Team News app does.
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