The athlete storytelling and branding company FanWord announced Thursday the launch of FanWord Boost, the company’s NIL-focused athlete directory. FanWord CEO and founder Chris Aumueller describes FanWord Boost as a cross between the yellow pages and the social media landing page platform Linktree.
“Athletes can list their social channels, obviously, but then also, ‘Here’s a link to my Opendorse profile. Here’s a link to my MarketPryce profile. Here’s a link to my Cameo profile,'” Aumueller said in a Zoom interview with On3. “‘Here is a link to the entrepreneurial venture I’m working on. Here’s a link to my merchandise, to my NFTs, to content about me, etc.'”
Every sport, school and conference has its own directory. Users can then filter athletes with additional criteria, such as Nebraska volleyball players who have a Cameo profile, for example.
FanWord Boost is free to athletes and schools.
FanWord Boost hopes to add a ‘couple thousand athletes’ soon
Aumueller said FanWord Boost is appealing to schools because FanWord doesn’t compete with other third-party providers that offer marketplaces or NIL deal facilitation. Athletes can include links to their profile on NIL marketplaces within their FanWord Boost profile.
Aumueller says FanWord’s internal database includes roughly 5,000 athletes but they’re not all on FanWord Boost yet. He expects FanWord Boost to feature a couple thousand athletes in the next month or so. The company’s long-term goal is to feature any college athlete but he said its reach could also include high school and professional athletes.
Athletes can create their own profile. FanWord also curates data for athletes, who can then claim them in order to personalize their profile and to allow third parties to contact them with NIL opportunities.
Aumueller said 10 to 20 schools have either partnered with FanWord or FanWord collected the schools’ publicly available information for FanWord Boost profiles.
FanWord Boost ‘might help you get discovered’
Aumueller said the hope for FanWord is that athletes will be the primary source of traffic.
“In a perfect scenario, we want them to use that as kind of like a website,” Aumueller said. “Put it in your Insta bio, your Twitter bio.”
Aumueller said the sales pitch to athletes — you know, why should they put a FanWord Boost link in their social media bios rather than a Linktree link? — is that FanWord Boost can help their teammates and classmates, too. There’s a potential cumulative benefit from the more athletes who choose to promote their personal FanWord Boost link.
Aumueller said FanWord Boost can help an athlete’s visibility extend beyond the reach of their social media followers.
“You putting this on your Instagram bio, for instance, is not just exposing your audience to this but your 50 teammates putting their links on there might help you get discovered because of it all being part of a public community, which is arguably the biggest difference between us and Linktree,” Aumueller said. “Linktree is an isolated link and there’s no community feel to it so if somebody clicks on volleyball player A, B, C’s link, that’s all they see. When they click on our link for the volleyball player, with just another click, they see all the other Nebraska athletes. They see all the other volleyball athletes. They see all the other Big Ten athletes.”