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Fannect launches, shoots to find sports’ best fans

The Fannect team in their downtown Kansas City digs (from left): Chris Anning, Blake VanLandingham, Jessica Coatney, Will Coatney, Hunter Browning. (Not pictured: Adam Hemphill.) 

The heated college sports rivalry that divides Kansas City sports fans – University of Kansas versus University of Missouri – might finally be quantified. Fannect, a mobile app that promises once and for all to determine which team has the best sports fans, is now available for iOS and Android devices.

Co-founded by Hunter Browning, 19 and Will Coatney, 24, Fannect is a sports app that combines social networking with competitive gaming, doling out points to measure a team’s best fan and which team has the best group of fans. Using Fannect, fans can play games that measure their passion and knowledge of their favorite team, accumulating points and bragging rights along the way in order to climb up the app’s leader board.

“We wanted to find a way to give sports fans a more engaging and competitive interaction with the teams they so passionately love,” the co-founders said in a recent email interview. “We saw technology as the perfect platform to bring fans back into the game.”

Fannect currently supports three games: Attendance Streak, where fans earn points by checking in at home and away games; Gameface, where fans are encouraged to “turn on your gameface” on gamedays; and Guess the Score (below), where fans try to guess the final score and earn more points the closer they get.

Fannect hopes that its selection of games will appeal to all kinds of sports fans.

“They are designed to encourage and allow for all types of fans to engage and play, not only statistic memorizing die hards,” they explained.

Browning came up with the idea for Fannect last summer, and quickly brought Coatney on board to help with development and serve as Fannect’s chief strategic officer. The co-founders met through Blue Valley’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies program, where Browning was a student and Coatney a business mentor. Since summer, they’ve brought on four more team members, including a CTO and CFO.

Fannect received $300,000 in private angel funds in December and another $200,000 this week, including contributions from a couple investors in the sports world.

The startup aims to earn revenue through sponsorships and data collection, the latter of which it would sell to sports franchises.

While there isn’t a specific date by which the co-founders plan to be cash flow positive, they did reiterate that the quicker their user growth, the more valuable Fannect will be for potential advertisement and market research deals.

By year’s end, the team hopes to count as many as 2.5 million users, and their mission is clear: “Develop the first platform that quantifies what it means to be a sports fan and finally prove who, in fact, has the best sports fans.”


Credit: Photo by Annie Sorensen. App screenshot from itunes.apple.com

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