Start-Up Watch Company of the Day: Yinzcam delivers sports, squared

Posted by Jim Nichols on January 31st, 2011 at 12:01 am

Sports is an entertainment category that we as marketers need to pay a lot of attention to,because it is really the only thing left in our culture that consistently draws large audiences. Certainly there is a great deal of innovation in the sector, like ESPN narrowcasting virtually any sport performance out there. And fantasy sports have become such a large business that they are impossible to ignore. Plus video games. Plus plus plus.

One of the most interesting innovations that I've seen in the sector is Yinzcam, a project of two Carnegie Mellon Profs and ten of their students. All of whom are Penguins fans, and that bit becomes important in a moment.

See, they had nosebleed seats, and were frustrated when legendarily full figured Pittsburghers blocked their view, or when they wanted to see things up close and personal. In hockey, being in the top deck really is a disadvantage by dint of both the smallness of a puck and the incredible speed by which it moves.

In fact, the NHL has always been challenged by how to make hockey viewing more popular because the speed of the puck means you have to keep the cameras pulled way back, Which means you can't see what's going on as well as you can with say, football or even basketball. As a result, hockey isn't as popular as it might be if TV viewing were more engaging.

The Yinzcam team saw an opportunity to enhance the sports viewing experience by making available vastly more content in real time. So they partnered with the Penguins (hiss!) to create Yinzcam service. Yinzcam content combines additional camera angles, replays and other real time content with evergreen items like schedules and rosters, and makes it available to stadium goers via a special wifi connection. Using it, you can change the viewing feed and explore other content as it is happening on the ice.Want to see that goal at close range? Simply choose that camera angle. Want to watch the penalty box? Click that one. Want to know who player number 81 was in '08? Click the roster (it was Miroslav Satan, who clearly has one of the best hockey player names ever, and now plays for the Bruins.)

Check out the screens and how to here.

The platform can also incorporate sponsorship and ecommerce, which are added bonuses. And if you are in a skybox, the stadium provides touchscreen PCs with the same real-time content. It's a tremendous enrichment to the in-stadium experience. Great for hockey. Great for the Penguins. Great for the sponsors.

I don't know all of what Yinzcam is planning for the future. But I for one would love to be able to buy this kind of experience at home as well. The company is now expanding to support other teams. Which is great because they can wire the Flyers and be supporting the REAL hockey team in the Keystone State. Let's go Flyers...da...da...da da da.

In short, I expect you'll be seeing A LOT more from Yinzcam. Don't hold being Penguin fans against them. What they lack in taste they clearly make up for in tech.

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2 Responses to “Start-Up Watch Company of the Day: Yinzcam delivers sports, squared”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have it on good authority that not all of their employees are Penguins fans. In fact, one of their core team members is born and raised in DC and is a lifelong Capitals fan. That probably doesn't comfort you given your Broad Street allegiances, but at least they're not all yinzers at YinzCam.

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