That’s right… after many many months… 8 months to be exact, we have finally gone public with IAmATrailBlazersFan.com. This is the first social networking site for a single sports team.
The NHL launched NHL Connect in late October. It is one social network for the full league. One reason I don’t like it is it each team’s brand is watered down to be more generic. I applaud them though for the feature set they rolled out with and being the first.
Our social network was developed by the guys at Affinity Circles in Mountain View, California. They had done social networks for university alumni associations (I found out about them when they did the “Duck Pond” for University of Oregon). We will continue to partner with them to help build this network into something really special for the fans. By no means is the site a finished product. When people become complacent on the web, their site will fail. You must always be evolving your site to make it more usable and more relevant.
Feel free to give IAmATrailBlazersFan.com a spin, even if you’re not a Trail Blazers Fan. You will see the passion of the fans there, a pretty solid design (thanks to opus:creative and a unique website for the Portland Trail Blazers.
It was amazing to see both Nike and Google step out and embrace a stand-alone social network called “Joga”. This was the first time I had seen a major brand empowering their fans to come to together and talk about soccer around the World Cup. This was so important for these two brands as their competitors were major official sponsors of the World Cup (Adidas and Yahoo). This grass-roots approach was a way that these two companies could authentically weave their brand with the rest of the community. There were a lot of features that I had mapped out for iamatrailblazersfan.com that were similar to Joga’s. Their site was truly inspirational.