The Back Story
Murray Mason, an avid sports enthusiast and self-proclaimed Weasel from Lonaconing, Maryland, loved hanging out in his favorite sports bar during the NFL season, grabbing beers with his buddies, and playing the pool game "29 Club". Basically there are 32 people per "Club" and each club member picks one of the 32 NFL teams. Often there are so many people playing that multiple 29 Clubs are happening in the same bar. Members throw their dough into a hat, record it on a chalkboard behind the bar, and all root for their team to score 29 points to win the pot. The probability it happens is only 3 to 4 times per season, but this wasn't ever about the dough. The game heightened the excitement in the bar, built new friendships and circles of people with a common interest, and engaged people in banter and side challenges. The Weasel wondered why there wasn't an application on his smartphone to keep track of the scores and pools. While he thought software referred to the results of too many beers in an evening, he knew to contact a Silicon Valley buddy to see if this could be built.
When the Weasel found a team of software guys from California, 29 Club Sports morphed from a basic pool play app into a platform for capturing the spirit of how us monkeys socialize. We have tight circles of friends based on common interests, love going to sports bars, banter and bust chops on each other with irreverent humor, buy each other beers after losing stupid challenges, and keep track of our favorite sports teams. Why not include all pool-play games? Why not create contests to track what we're already doing? Why not have a private and secure messaging platform for the circles? Why not make it high value and free? Yikes! That's stupid, but we did it anyhow.
The birth of the 29 Club social mobility app was predicated upon the teams' universal distaste for current social media environments. We understand that people run in multiple circles and we don't want those communications to overlap. In principle we hate the fact that idiots continue to clobber our Facebook walls, clog our email inboxes, and we receive a barrage of Twitter tweets about ridiculous things from ridiculous people. We really hate these social media sites seeing, selling, and sharing our private data. We are fatigued by the spray of meaningless information from people we don't know or care about, and the spam we get from companies trying to sell us crap we don't want. We like beer and bar food, watching a game with buddies at our favorite sports bar, busting on each other, and acting like jackasses.
We have loyalty to our circle, fun with our friends, and know there's nothing better than walking into our favorite hang out and seeing it packed with familiar faces. Those hangouts are run by smart restaurant and bar merchants who are happy to see us and don't feel like they have to give away the store to get us to show up. Knowing we're appreciated and are in for good times with good friends is what motivates us. Not a bunch of reward points and fleeting discounts that may buy a passing visit but not true loyalty. 29Club let's the merchants know our circle of friends and we appreciate the special treatment we receive in return. We call it, "Social Circle Loyalty™". The 29 Club Merchants get it. One-to-Many promo sprays through Facebook, Groupon, Twitter, and other impersonal run of the mill "rewards" programs are spam and will be ignored. 29 Club Sports built a platform for the merchant to reach our circles with offers that are unique to us, understands our patterns and social calendars, and helps bring those familiar faces together before, during, or after the game, and then leave us alone.
And to all you monkey sports fans... Beer. Banter. Better.