A SMALL Sarasota-based company is at the heart of the world’s newest social media phenomenon.
Fanoptic officially goes live today [SATURDAY, MAY 20], bringing together sports fans, players, coaches, sponsors and teams in a way never before seen online.
It was the brainchild of NFL agent Jesse Foreman, from Orlando, and made a reality by the digital business solutions company Web Jarvis.
Jesse, chief executive of Global Sports Entertainment, explains: “I wanted somewhere you could find your sports news easily – not searching for a five second glimpse hidden between a cat video and a photo of somebody’s breakfast.”
Fanoptic offers users of all ages the chance to chat about the latest signings, react to injuries, share news, and debate the merits – or otherwise – of your favourite players.
The entire concept is completely new, and is possible only thanks to the determination and dedication of Tristram Allen and Justin Reasoner of Web Jarvis.
Tristram, 28, explains: “Jesse had the idea for a brand new social media concept dedicated to sports, but to make it a reality we had to design and build it from scratch.
“We wanted it to be like the Facebook of the sporting world.”
It has been a four-month labour of love for the Web Jarvis team, with designers and programmers working determinedly from their base off Fruitville Road to bring Fanoptic to life.
“There have been some tough days,” admits 27-year-old Justin, “when we spent hours perfecting one small part of the site.
“Watching it come together has made it all worthwhile though. It’s been the biggest project for Web Jarvis to date, and has excited us about the other possibilities out there.”
Tristram and Justin created their first website about two years ago, continuing to create websites alongside their other businesses.
Their success led to the need to employ more staff until, in September, the business partners decided to focus all their efforts on Web Jarvis – a move which has already proven to be a success, with Fanoptic showing the talent and determination of these Sarasota guys.
Jesse says: “I’m pretty picky, but Web Jarvis have been fantastic. They managed to turn the dream I have had for nine years into a reality. Everything I asked for has been created exactly as I envisioned it.
“I am so excited about Fanoptic and what it will bring to the sporting world.”
Fanoptic may have only officially launched today, but it has been trialled by 30 handpicked users for several weeks to iron out any bugs.
The key for its creators is that it is not just for Joe Public: sports stars themselves are signing up, with Cleveland Browns’ Austin Reiter among the first to create his own profile.
“Rather than interacting with a fan page on Facebook, people can connect directly with athletes’ personal profiles,” Jesse, 30, says.
“This is about creating one sporting world, whoever you are. We want soccer dads discussing their daughter’s team, alongside baseball fans raving about the Red Sox.”
As if all that wasn’t enough, Fanoptic users can even get money for chatting about sport.
Users of the site get points for every interaction they have, from liking a news point to sharing a comment. At the end of the first year, the user with the most points will walk away with $5,000 cash.
For more information or to get involved, visit fanoptic.com
For more information about Web Jarvis and their services, visit webjarvis.com