ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen launches CollegeFanz.com
By Andrew Lippe
It sounds like a dream come true for collegiate fans: host your own sports talk radio show, interact with fans of your favorite team from around the country, but these are no longer fantasies thanks to the Founder of ESPN, Bill Rasmussen, who today launched CollegeFanz.com.
The website is an interactive online experience dedicated to collegiate sports. “Today there are so many things happening in the sports business and for some reason no matter what happens there is always room for more,” says Rasmussen, CollegeFanz.com Founder and CEO. Free registration starts today. The debut of CollegeFanz.com is 28 years to the day that Rasmussen launched ESPN. Rasmussen feels that today there should be something more than networks spewing sports games at fans. He wanted to do something where the fans could really be involved. CollegeFanz.com is a social networking site that is centered on not just having college sports games but on college life. Networks like CSTV and ESPN are focused more on the distribution of games than anything else. “As much as I like what they do at ESPN they are about putting sports news and games in front of people,” says Rasmussen. Instead of focusing on the major college sports like college football and college basketball CollegeFanz.com will focus on secondary sports. Phase two of the project will incorporate a $4.95 segment for non-revenue sports from Division II & Division III schools. “It is an opportunity we think to showcase those sports that never see the light of day,” says Rasmussen. Sports including wrestling, lacrosse, and hockey, from secondary schools would be prevalent on CollegeFanz.com. “Football and basketball athletes are just a tiny percentage of student athletes playing especially in secondary schools,” says Rasmussen. In order to distribute this video content they went to many of the conferences as well as some of the individual schools themselves. The website provides countless features and innovations. These include a virtual campus that greets fans when they enter the site. The virtual campus will continually change throughout the year based on the seasonal sports taking place. Other features include the Registrar, where users create their profiles; a Stadium and Arena area where fans can get scores and information on their favorite teams; FanzRoom where fans make their own dorm room based on their favorite team; and Fanz Fone, where up to 25 users can call for absolutely no charge, the campus store, and the aforementioned Sports Talk Studio. The Sports Talk Show radio show is like being in a real radio studio, with unlimited listeners simultaneously. It gives a chance also for those in the broadcast industry to get their feet wet with radio broadcasts. All games on CollegeFanz.com are archived and digitized from the future. Fans years from now will be able to relive the Michigan loss to Appalachian State.
Right now all video uses Adobe flash and most of the software tools are up to date with current technology. Technically Rasmussen states that something to this degree even a year ago wouldn’t have been possible. The College Fanz experience creation was assisted by The Phoenix Group, Linqware PA- SportsTicker and The Musser Group.
“CollegeFanz.com will be an ever-changing site,” says Dan Gieschen, senior architect of the Phoenix Group. Dan says that the Video web war has not yet been won and they will continue to explore new and innovative technologies.