GreenPark Sports, a startup spanning the mobile gaming and fan engagement categories, has signed a global partnership with La Liga to bring some of the sporting world’s most recognizable brands to the app’s virtual world.
Founded in 2018 by entrepreneurs including YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley and Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn, GreenPark will launch early next year. Users will declare their fan allegiances, dress a personalized avatar in matching gear and compete against fans of other teams in a number of familiar mobile games, including sports prediction contests. La Liga joins the NBA and the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) as early partners eager to connect with younger fans.
“GreenPark is a really innovative company that will help us to grow closer to the worldwide gaming community,” La Liga director of international business development Oscar Mayo said in an email. “GreenPark will help us to really engage with an important target audience.”
GreenPark closed its Series A round earlier this fall, raising $14 million from funders including Galaxy Interactive, Sinclair Broadcasting and Sapphire Sport. “We’re reinventing the role of the fan,” GreenPark co-founder Ken Martin said in an interview. “We believe the fan needs to be much more a part of the team.”
At the end of each season, one fanbase will be named champion, independent of its team’s fortunes in our reality. Individual gamers could also be named Most Valuable Fan, with potential real-world recognition coming from their favorite team.
Limited attendance throughout 2020 has required teams to put more emphasis on engaging fans outside of the arena and stadium. GreenPark business operations VP Tony Grillo predicted the app could also create new fans for growing leagues as its single, online world could introduce La Liga diehards to the LCS, and vice versa.
Going forward, GreenPark also plans to provide user behavior data to its partner leagues. To date, fans have often gathered on social media platforms like Twitter and Discord, where teams have less information about and control over the experience.
“We want [GreenPark] to have a multidimensional feel, like you’re really there with other fans,” Martin said.