If you’ve ever trained for a marathon, or otherwise engaged in any kind of on-going physical activity, at some point you’ve probably ‘Googled’ for advice on anything from treating a niggling injury, to how you can improve your performance. And you most probably found the information you were looking for.
There are many dedicated apps and websites out there that help support an active and healthy lifestyle, but Tribesports attempts to bring everything together under one virtual roof. And it’s social too.
Tribesports uses an intelligent recommendation engine based on user interactions to surface relevant, useful content that will motivate and inspire users to push themselves in their chosen sports. Leaderboards, online kudos and other social gaming mechanics play a key part here, taking the competitive edge of the sportsperson offline and applying it to their social interactions online.
Registration is quick and painless, and you then create your sports profile, including a brief bio, a list of sports you play, the equipment you have and your sporting achievements. You can also choose to follow active users who share your sporting interests, and you can create or join a Tribe.
Now, ‘tribes’ are based on the things you love in sport. It could be centered on discipline, location, position, ability level or attitude. For example, there is ‘get fit without joining a gym’, ‘stretching recovery’, ‘bikram yoga lovers’ and ‘London park runners':
Tribesports also allows you to create challenges…or take up another user’s challenge. This could be ‘100 crunches a day for 14 days’, ‘run a 5k in less than 25 minutes’, ‘cycle 5 different routes to work’ or ‘The crossbar challenge’ – this is where football fans try to hit the crossbar of the goals from the halfway line. At the time of writing, there are almost 700 challenges:
The interface is easy to navigate. When you choose to take a challenge, or when you complete a challenge, there’s a familiar status update box, where you can let your followers know how you’re progressing, post images and embed videos from third-party hosting sites such as YouTube with a simple copy/paste of the video’s URL:
And the site has some pretty slick integration with JustGiving which allows users to track any donations within the Challenge section. This is particularly useful for donators to keep tabs on their ‘subject’ as they progress through their training regime.
Steve Reid, CEO of Tribesports, said:
“I have been taking part in marathons and Ironman events for nearly 10 years now, and have played football for as long as I can remember, but there has never been a place where I could share everything about myself as a sports person. Tribesports allows sports enthusiasts to create a showcase of their sports achievements and to connect with others globally to share training logs, tips, questions, tactics, advice and ideas.”
In terms of revenue, Tribesports is adopting a two-pronged attack. Firstly, Tribesports will take a commission of any products that are sold through the website.
“Sportspeople love talking about their equipment. On Tribesports users can search from more than 1 million products across over 1000 different sports, adding items to their equipment list, or wishlist and add reviews, ask questions or request validation on which equipment best suits their needs.”
So, this is social commerce we’re talking about here. A user seeks recommendations for a particular pair of trail running shoes, and others oblige with links to products they’ve already tried and liked.
The second revenue stream derives from data. So, if a sports firm wants to target X thousand runners in a particular area, Tribesports can create targeted sponsorship and advertising packages for companies. I’ve been assured that any advertising is very targeted and is tightly integrated into the site.
You can register with Tribesports using your Facebook account too, and this integration with existing social networks may prove pivotal to its success.
A basic mobile-friendly version of the site is available too, whilst I’ve been told that mobile apps will be available some time soon.
Overall, I think this is a very good site that should prove popular. It launches in open beta mode today, so there will still be some fine-tuning going on in the background. Meanwhile, here’s a short demo video for you to feast your eyes on: