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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Big League Athletes Get Behind Youth Sports Social Site

Weplay.com is a social networking site for kids who play sports, parents, and coaches. According to the New York Times, "Young athletes will be able to set up a profile, post pictures, communicate with friends and share videos of games. Parents will be able to get practice schedules, coordinate car pools and find out which equipment to purchase. Coaches will be able to communicate with their players and parents, as well as learn about strategy and other skills." Big leaguers such as NBA stars Tony Parker and LeBron James, NFLer Payton Manning, and New York Yankee Derek Jeter are taking part. Jeter, in fact, has put some of his own money into the venture and will receive equity in the company in exchange for his participation, saying the equity position is “very important, because you can really feel good about something if you help build it.”

This is a site that should have been built long ago, parents, coaches, and athletes have been using a patch work of sites and tools to communicate schedules and coordinate travel for years. I take an abundance of photos during the hockey and baseball seasons and have recently found the file sharing site drop.io to be invaluable in distributing photos to parents and players alike. The real question is, will the athletes like being in the same social network as their parents? A central location for sharing information amongst team mates sounds like winner, at least for the parents.




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