Fantasy Football has become quite popular in recent years, and with each rise in technology, the virtual sport of choosing players and teams has spread faster and has gained more ground than an All-Pro NFL running back.
The folks over at Viggle, the television app that gives you redeemable points for watching TV shows, have created a real-time fantasy sports app called MyGuy.
What's different about MyGuy from other fantasy sports apps is its real-time capabilities -- users can select fantasy players while the game is still going on, and you'llÂ accumulate points if one of your players scores.
Chief Operations Officer and President of MyGuy Chris Stephenson says the new app speeds up the competition aspects of fantasy sports, by users having theÂ opportunity to gain instant point totals. "It is a fantasy app, but there's one big difference, he told the New York Post.
"With fantasy football you have to draft players and wait through the entire season. This is different because you can pick the player right there and then and that player is getting them points on every play. It's a form of fantasy football but it is instantaneous. It's fantasy sports meets instant gratification," he said.
Stephenson says branching out to the sports realm only makes sense as it's arguably the biggest and most far reaching form of entertainment in the United States, and creating MyGuy isn't a risky expansion move since the nationwide customer base is already there.
"When you look at what drives social TV, the thing that really drives it is sports," he said. "There's lots of activity around other things like the VMAs, but on a week-to-week basis, game-in, game-out, no matter what the sport, this is what generates the most activity. People ask why are you creating a niche, but it's not the niche, the rest of it is the niche, what we're getting into is the big chunk."
And he's right. We Americans love watching sports more now than ever.
According to Nielsen Ratings, both broadcast and cable television aired over 43,700 hours of sports in the U.S. in 2011, so creating a sports related app or website is a safer bet, believes Stephenson.
And just like many apps and social networking sites which have been influenced by Facebook, MyGuy is choosing to take advantage of the current real-time trend, by offering instantaneous feedback and some sort of social interaction component for itsÂ users. And other companies are doing the same.
Take the site LinkedIn for example. The company recently announced it was changing its site to operate more like Facebook where users will have the ability to add and invite friends. The new version of LinkedIn will also provide you with an instant count of how many people are viewing your profile.
Although MyGuy doesn't actually use its app in the same way it does have a chatroom area, where fans can comment on the game, vent frustrations because of the referee, or gloat toÂ one anotherÂ after victory. Think a virtual sports bar slash social networking app.
Also, with other fantasy sports app you usually have to choose your team before-hand and wait for results, but MyGuy allows you to switch players during the game to gain points if one of your players isn't playing well, which Stephenson says is the smartest way to use the app andÂ accumulate points.
"Let's say you stick with Peyton Manning for the whole game," he says. "You are only scoring when Petyon Manning is scoring. Other people are scoring, passing, intercepting and getting points. You might do well [using only one player], but you'll never get to the leaderboard."
Stephenson also says by 2013 MyGuy will be a three-sport fantasy app. "We started with the basketball version of this during the playoffs," he said. "It was really our test concept and it went really well. We then developed a football version of it for College and the NFL. We have an MLB product coming in October for the playoffs and will re-up with the NBA. By January we'll have all three sports."
He also says the new app will have actual prizesÂ you can receive for having the most points, and in the near future MyGuy will attach the app to both the Super Bowl and Rose Bowl, which he says is quite unique. These are gaming perks he says the "normal football viewer cannot get access to."
The new app can be used on Apple devices, Androids and computers, and can also be downloaded for free in the Apple App Store.