The School of Kinesiology is partnering with FANSeye, a fan-based social media start-up, to bring real-world problem-solving to the classroom.
Founded by former NHL executive Frank Provenzano (in photo above), the FANSeye app funnels sports dialogue into a real-time conversation for users to share and show off their player knowledge. Fans can post player ratings and opinions on the app, as well as see which players are trending up or down based on the current user conversations. Aggregating the ratings input by all users, the app produces a unique player score for every athlete, showing just how highly (or poorly) the crowd thinks of them.
Students in the Strategy in the Sport Industry (SM 342) course are working directly with Provenzano and FANSeye staff on a “living case study,” which encompasses everything from understanding the entrepreneurial process to examining the challenges (and opportunities) entrepreneurs face in launching new businesses to discovering the potential corporate and business model implications in growing FANSeye's user community.
“Our objective is to provide opportunities for students to work on real-life problems and challenges faced by businesses in sport,” says Katherine Babiak, associate professor of sport management, who teaches a section of the course. “FANSeye is the first organization to partner with us on such a project. We hope to provide similar experiences to students working with other companies in the sport industry.”Kathryn Heinze, assistant professor of sport management, who teaches another section of the course. “I am really excited to see what ideas the students come up with, since they comprise an important segment of the FANSeye target audience,” Provenzano says. “This is a unique opportunity for them to have a direct impact on the development of a live product, both for our NFL launch and as we add additional sports leagues." The team that presents the most creative, feasible, and implementable recommendations for growing the FANSeye user community and customer base will receive a bonus grade, a FANSeye T-shirt, and, most importantly, some invaluable hands-on experience.
“This case study has allowed me to put into practice some of the concepts we have been learning about in class in a real-life situation,” says Trevor Rutledge, a junior in the sport management program. “It’s my hope that some of the work my peers and I have accomplished will help FANSeye take the necessary steps towards becoming the product that Mr. Provenzano envisioned.”