With the 2012 Summer Olympics kicking off in only a few short months, London is busy gearing up for one of most widely enjoyed, legendary sporting events in the world. And while most of us will never be Olympic athletes, it doesn't mean we can't strive to grow our athletic prowess and link up with other enthusiasts who share similar skills and interests. London's got us covered in this endeavor as well.
Tribesports is a London-based, social networking site that provides a hub for the sporting community to share advice, athletic interests, equipment preferences, and fitness challenges. The beta site launched last June, and it's quickly gaining momentum and revenue as more sports fans opt in.
Here's how it works: users first create a profile bio indicating sports they play, their favorite equipment, skill level and other sporting achievements. They can then create challenges to reach any number of goals, ranging from getting a better night's sleep, to training for a 5k, to eating only one bowl of cereal a day. Users can take on the challenges of other Tribesports members, and the site features a live feed of who's doing what.
The site stretches its social legs even further with the invention of "Tribes," which are active communities of users who share sporting interests and can be centered on a discipline, location, skill set, quirky attitude, or even preferences in running music. Through the Tribes vertical, users can organize events, schedule meetups, and seek advice from those at their skill level or more experienced athletes.
And then there's the product side of the platform. Using an intelligent aggregated shopping solution database, Tribesports enables users to search through millions of sports products from over 250 retailers and add their preferences and product reviews to their personal bios. Members can click through directly to retailers, and Tribesports takes commission on all products sold through the website.
The Tribesports community has huge influencing power within the athletic realm. According to website founder Steve Reid, "Sportspeople love talking about their equipment. On Tribesports users can search for more than 1 million products across over 1000 different sports, adding items to their equipment list, or wishlist and add reviews, ask questions or request validation on which equipment best suits their needs."
There's also a huge opportunity for brands to gain exposure within the site, as Tribesports can create targeted sponsorship and advertising packages for companies to directly target any type of athlete, from barefoot runners to archers, in specific markets.
Though sport-specific online communities multiply at an alarming rate, Tribesports is one of the first destinations for all athletic enthusiasts. It provides an easy to navigate interface and non-intimidating format for even the most novice athlete to connect with helpful members. We're excited to see how the site develops as more and more consumers seek to connect their online habits with offline activities.