Let’s set the scene: you’re in your house, dorm, or apartment watching the game on TV, discussing the players and the teams with the people around you. But you’re also texting your dad about the score, tweeting at your friend from home who’s talking smack about your team, and updating your status on Facebook so your friends know what you’re up to. This is commonplace because we live in an Information Age. We are in a time of constant connectedness, instant gratification, and multitasking so intense, it is almost impossible to avoid. This was the observation that David Shack and Andrew Vassallo, four- year roommates and now graduates of University of Richmond, noted and have capitalized on with the creation of the iPhone app, Spogo.
As avid sports fans, the duo noticed that no matter where you go, whether a bar, sporting event, or a gathering at a friend’s house for the game, people are constantly using their smart phones. They brainstormed ways to encourage interactive cell phone use with the people surrounding the user, and after extensive planning, the idea of Spogo created a new kind of relationship between technology and people, specifically sports fans.
After Shack worked two years in advertising at Arnold Worldwide in Boston and Vassallo worked two years at Cowen & Company in New York City, both left their jobs to work on Spogo full time in Boston. The tech savvy grads lead the day- to- day efforts of the company, whether in sales, marketing, fundraising or operations, and have partnered with a mobile development firm in NYC to build and manage the technology behind the app.
Vassallo gave a great description of the app, explaining:
Spogo is a mobile platform that prompts users with questions during live games, asking you to predict the outcomes of plays. You wager virtual points, and for correct predictions, you are rewarded. You can use Spogo points to unlock a range of deals and prizes from our partners. This season, we’ve teamed with over 50 sports bars across Boston and New York. You’ll be able to redeem anything from a free plate of nachos to a private VIP party for you and your friends.
Perhaps what differentiates Spogo from most in the social TV and predictive gaming space is its TeamZone tab. Users can add their friends via Facebook by sending them a request and interact directly through the chat option (allowing users to keep all the smack talking to one location). The same tab allows users to keep track of friends’ stats or chat with any other Spogo users who are checked in to that particular game. Additionally, users shouldn’t just expect run of the mill questions to wager their points on; while there will be questions such as “Will the next play be a run or pass?” users should look out for “Will Bill Belichick be wearing a hoodie today?” or “Will Tebow Tebow in the fourth quarter?” Not only does this make the app as a whole more exciting, it is capable of generating a wider array of users.
Shack and Vassallo are especially proud of the quantity and quality of the offerings that are available in the RewardZone for the first season. Because they are based in Boston, the duo has signed on multiple sports bars there, and team member Matt Sobel is heading up the New York City initiative. Combined, they have signed on over 50 sports bars that will offer rewards for users who successfully bet their points and win.
Spogo has officially launched in the iTunes app store as of Thursday, November 8. Shack and Vassallo are looking forward to a busy and exciting season, filled with rewards both through the RewardZone and beyond. Download it now, and get playing!