Rooter is the world’s first social platform that connects sports fans and engages them during live sporting events. Recently, it added several new features to its Android application. The platform has enabled real-time updates and access to match facts for all the matches hosted on Rooter. These additions will provide a complete, 360-degree engagement experience to its users. BE’s Anustup Roy Barman spoke to Piyush, CEO and Founder, Rooter, about his app.
Q. How did you come up with this idea?
A. The idea of Rooter came from one of the most basic insights related to sports and that is, no one wants to watch sports alone. We always want to be around people, friends, family, and colleagues during important matches of the cricket world cup, tennis grand slams and important derby games. So we aimed to create a technological platform that will connect sports fans with others around them. The biggest example, for instance, of technology enabling human connections on the basis of proximity is Tinder and we took that as our template. Essentially, we started off by attempting to create Tinder for sports fans.
Q. How does this app work?
A. Any user who joins Rooter makes a sports profile with teams/players they support and a passion score (calculated on the basis of sports interest shown on the social media). The users can then use our feature “Rooters around you” to find other sports fans around them or find sports fans following the same set of teams/ players. They can chat with the users and also play a unique live match prediction game with them.
Live match prediction game is the most loved feature of Rooter as it allows fans to predict various aspects of a live match. Rooter also gives an opportunity to fans to interact with other fans during the match in a chat room called live match forum. We also have quizzes for each live match game we host. Rooter is a platform for sports fans to connect, play prediction games and chat in a live match-oriented forum while following scores and commentary.
Q. How will this help the growth of sports in India?
A. We are creating an ecosystem for sports fans. There is no dedicated sports platform in India that connects them and also engages them during live matches. We are essentially getting more and more fans to follow live matches and are helping in increasing sports viewership. We also help sports fans follow new sports through our prediction game as the game format is the same for all sports. We believe that we will create a strong community that will help teams and leagues to engage with the fans directly.
Q. Do you have any plan of expanding beyond football, cricket, tennis, and basketball?
A. We will be introducing two more racing sports in March. We want to focus on these six sports for the next three months before expanding. Football is a global sport, cricket is the passion of India, tennis is a game which is increasingly followed by urban audiences whereas basketball, Moto GP and F1 will help us get connected to niche sports fans.
Q. Don’t you think that the iLeague should also be covered?
A. We will soon be covering the iLeague. We are committed to promote Indian sports on Rooter. We covered all matches of (ISL) Indian Super League along with domestic cricket matches. iLeague figures prominently in our priority list.
Q. Do you have any plans of collaborating with clubs to make the fans more attached to their favourite club?
A. We have already started our discussions with many teams and leagues. We have got many encouraging responses and some discussions are at the final stage. We will be making a few announcements soon.