Who needs LeBron James? The NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers have teamed up with social calendar platform UpTo to give fans a new way to access information about team events.
The UpTo application integrates with users' calendars so they can share events with specific groups of people.
According to UpTo CEO and founder Greg Schwartz, when users download the app, they can set up their feed by following friends, family or co-workers, as well as by following public event streams and adding existing calendars so they can cross-reference their own availability.
Users can also comment on events, like events, save events to their calendars and share events with friends.
"We found that there are a lot of options to see status updates about what friends have recently done [in social media], but by the time we see most of this information, it's after the fact," Schwartz says. "You can use UpTo to see what family members having coming up this weekend, where friends will be later tonight or who a co-worker is meeting with next week -- all in one spot."
UpTo enables users to follow the game schedules of all major professional sports teams, but the Cavaliers are the first to allow access to all events, promotions and announcements - which includes player appearances, charity events and broadcast information.
As part of the partnership with the Cavs, UpTo has also added other Cleveland-based streams, including: destination marketing organization Positively Cleveland; Quicken Loans Arena, which is home to the Cavaliers; AFL team the Cleveland Gladiators; AHL team the Lake Erie Monsters; and general listings for Cleveland concerts and theater.
Brandon Jirousek, senior manager digital content and operations for the Cavaliers, says Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., majority owner of the Cavaliers and general partner at Detroit Venture Partners, helped introduced the Cavaliers to UpTo, which also happens to be a Detroit Venture Partners portfolio company.
"There was an immediate excitement within our group, as we as an organization are always on the lookout for ways to better connect with our fans to provide them with the information they are searching for," Jirousek adds.
In addition to UpTo, the Cavaliers connect with fans on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and their own social network, CavFanatic.com, as well as through the Cavs Mobile App, which provides game, team and travel information and allows fans to purchase tickets and merchandise. The Cavs Mobile App launched on iPhone and Android devices in October.
UpTo had a soft launch of its iPhone app in March and launched an Android app last week.
UpTo would not disclose download figures, but says it has more than 200,000 events shared and nearly 800 public streams that users can follow.
According to Schwartz, UpTo has also created event streams for additional partners such as Westfield Stratford City in the U.K., home to London's Olympic Park, which featured events during the 2012 Olympics; technology media property TechCrunch, which showcased product announcements and tech events; and Quicken Loans, which highlighted events in Detroit.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014