The Hughes live in Manchester and decided to quit their jobs and studies to build a social network that is aimed at sports fans. However, can they beat the competition?
The family said that they see themselves “sitting at the top table with the big boys”. On the other hand, they don’t think that they will take on the competition.
The social network is called GameDay Xtra and has the main purpose to host a page for every sports team and player in the world. What makes it special is that even the small, humble leagues can join in and post their own news.
Members can create their fan profile, filter their favorite sports, pick their favorite teams, get live news feeds of events and make their own groups. Moreover, the family plans to add interactive games that members can play.
How much they paid for their dream to become a reality? Their son, Sam, aged 21, suspended his university studies and works during the night on the project. The daughter, Mollie, aged 18, handles everything related to social media. They sold their house, their cars and everything they could. Moreover, they ran out of money twice.
“When you put all your money into one project you are keeping an eye on everything.” – Mr. Hughes said
As they needed more money, they decided to reach out to investors. However, they were told that the scale of the project was too big. However, they succeeded in securing funding from a Russian backer.
You may wonder how are they going to monetize their idea. Even though they want to carry some ads, they do not want to end up having loads of videos and advertisements. Their main focus is to “change the way media is done”.
As expected, tech entrepreneur and investors had something to say on their idea. One of them, Emma Sinclair MBE, made the following statement:
“Sports fans are already likely using one or more of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat. That’s in addition to text, Whatsapp, email.
There’s a lot of competition and noise out there and for a start-up on a small budget, competing with giants and established players for attention is an expensive and ambitious job.
As an angel investor and with the little information I have to hand, I am currently unconvinced that this site has the capacity to disrupt the market and come out on top as a key hub for sports fans as things stand.
This being a site in beta however, I hope they prove me wrong and I wish them luck.”
For now, the website has a few thousands members and aims to open for broader membership in August, this year.