Football is the largest sport in the world with over 3.5 billion fans all over the world. With that target group, the team behind Football Addicts has a vision to change the way people interact with football. They want to gather the football community and hear their opinion. I talked to Patrik Arnesson, CEO and founder of Football Addicts, about his ambition to let the fans affect everything in the football world.
It started as a website and ended with an app
The company started in 2010. They spent six month building a football website – footballaddicts.com. That was a complete failure so they spent a year building a new version of that website but that version failed even more. During that time they experimented with an app as a side project.
”We thought: Let’s try making an app in three weeks as a side project. We released it and in about one week we had 50 000 downloads. It was a success.
At that time they decided to scrap the website project and focus all their efforts on the football app. They created a new app called Live Score Addicts where users could get push notifications with statistics and scores from every football match and every football team in the whole world. In the first month they had 300 000 users and since then it has been a continuous growth. In March of 2014 they reached 2,2 million active users.
Asking questions to collect their users opinion
Now they have two apps called Forza Football (Formerly Live Score Addicts) and Forza 90´ (formerly Player of the Match). Since December of 2013 they have a new and expanded vision with their company. They want to change the way people interact with football. They want to hear and spread the football community’s opinion about the football world.
The big problem of today is that nobody knows the opinion of the football fans. It’s a big problem for the football community and a problem that we want to solve and it’s something that we can solve with our big user base.
They concluded that the fans’ voices were rarely heard in media and when they were heard, they were heard by the wrong reasons. Media often referred to “one expert” or “someone in social media” but the football community’s overall sentiment was rarely covered.
My vision is that every article that is written about football will cover the fans’ opinion because that part is very relevant.
To achieve this they are, in their apps, going to start asking questions like these after each football match:
Do you have confidence in your trainer?
Do you have confidence in your team?
Do you have confidence in the management of the club?
With this huge amount of data, the team behind Football Addicts believe they can present a more truthful picture of what the fans really like and don’t like about football. The many are smarter than the few. All these people has so much cumulative knowledge which can not compete with only one expert and the average of their knowledge makes their opinion very interesting and smart. Patrik elaborates his thoughts:
Can a football team take better decisions with this data? There are cases where a football trainer has lost his job by the wrong reasons. Because people believe that the fans have lost confidence in the trainer when it may not be the case. That’s an interesting question.
The app will not only ask these questions but a lot of more. One example is FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil this summer. The app will ask their users who will win the cup. You can also rank every team and guess the results in every match. This data will then be presented in a way so you can see the opinion for the whole world or separated by country.
There are a few competitors to Football Addicts but Patrik stresses that they their app “Forza Football” is the one with the highest review score in App Store. They also have a very high engagement. With 2,2 million users, 1 million of these users uses the app every day. Patrik points out that mostly of their competitor’s just copy their features without any love for the product or knowledge of what makes a good app great.
The importance of independence
From the start Football Addicts has been self-financed without any help from investors. The independence plays in an important role for the company, according to Patrik:
We see a great value in our independence. Especially with the vision we have to show the overall opinion of the football community. It’s a big responsibility to ask the right questions and we can’t be biased by the questions we are asking. With too many co-operations we are no longer independent.
The goals for the future are high. The Team behind Football Addicts wants to change the whole football world and make the community engaged in everything from choosing the color of the clothes to where the next world championships is held. Continuing asking their users questions and spread their opinion to the world will make this happen. It’s a lifetime mission, says Patrik, but he is convinced that they will succeed.