Before the Super Bowl had even kicked off, Kansas City prediction-software startup Knoda was a winner. Teaming up with fellow Silicon Prairie startup opendorse—a platform for brands to have athletes market products through social media—Knoda was able to get its word out through the likes of Seahawks receiver Golden Tate and about 45 other athletes on opendorse’s platform.
“We met through Hunter Browning of Fannect, who had done a campaign with opendorse,” Knoda co-founder and CEO Kyle Rogers told Silicon Prairie News. “We talked with them about the user acqusition success they had after that, and soon got in touch with [opendorse CEO] Blake Lawrence.”
Knoda’s app allows users to post predictions for all events, big and small, along with all of the trash talk in between. Then the guess is verified as right or wrong, with others weighing in.
So the Super Bowl made a ton of sense to Rogers and the team as there may be no bigger event where everyone thinks they’re the expert. They wanted to shine a spotlight on their product at the right moment, so with tweets and predictions from athletes—not every athlete signed up for Knoda, but Tate did—Rogers said they’ve already seen an impact.
It’s hard to know exact numbers at this point, Rogers said, but Tate’s tweet alone brought a lot of eyes—he has 185,000 Twitter followers. As of press, it had 131 retweets and 342 favorites (below).
— Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate) February 1, 2014
Rogers said other athletes included Steve Weatherford, punter for the New York Giants; former NBA player Michael Finley and former Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez.
The process works by sending in the proposed promotion, first screened by the athlete’s agent or marketer—if they have one—then on to the athlete themselves for final approval. Through the entire process, the advertiser—in this case, Knoda—can see each update along the way. The project was bigger than most, so Rogers said his team worked directly with opendorse’s staff to help craft the messages, given they have a clear idea of each athlete’s voice.
“I’m definitely going to tell at least a few people about their platform,” Rogers said. “We’re big fans and will help each other out as much as possible.”
In the end, it did the job of bringing in new users, and Rogers said the Super Bowl was the biggest engagement day for the startup since it launched in December for iOS—it secured seed funding in November. This also was the first big event where the web-responsive version was available; an Android app is on its way.
In early January, Knoda appeared on 96.5 The Buzz for Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz and presented at 1 Million Cups. Rogers said the radio appearance doubled their users, and this opportunity with opendorse was just another way to creatively get the word out. The startup is on Dream Big America today as well, where voters can pick their favorite company to move on to a monthly final.