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The Social Sports Site That Aims to Win Over Madison Avenue

LockerDome’s direct line to fans

St. Louis native Gabe Lozano has built LockerDome into a major fan destination Photo: David Torrence

Beyond the serious baseball fan, Jordan Swagerty isn’t exactly a household name. But thanks to an up-and-coming social sports site called LockerDome, many more of those who follow sports are getting to know Swagerty, a minor league pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization.

Pro athletes like Swagerty are beginning to flock to LockerDome, using the platform to connect to the growing base of 18-34-year-old sports fans—the same consumers advertisers happen to covet.

Not surprisingly, sports agencies, which represent all kinds of athletes, are also taking notice. “We’ve tried to increase the digital presence of our athletes in the past few years because we recognize the value of social media to contribute to a player’s brand,” says Paul Kuo, public relations director of Beverly Hills Sports Council, which represents Swagerty as well as such stars as pitcher Tim Lincecum and outfielder Hunter Pence, both of whom play for the defending World Series champions, the San Francisco Giants.

Swagerty connects with fans through his LockerDome profile, sending out greetings and occasionally responding to tweets.

For the few minutes he devotes to this activity, he can boost his goodwill with fans while raising his overall public profile. What’s more, the venue gives him a direct line to the sports fan—sidestepping the media upon which he and his fellow athletes once depended for their public face.

“With LockerDome, we can disseminate news and updates about a player along with off-the-field news,” Kuo points out. “We can control the message as a player looks for endorsements and appearance fees. Social media brings an added value to our marketing effort.”

Besides the athletes themselves, St. Louis-based LockerDome also offers a platform for teams and sports-related brands and media personalities to bolster their social-media presence. The St. Louis Blues hockey franchise signed up with the platform this past March, for example.

“We like the approach LockerDome has taken with this idea and how to connect the athlete with their fans and figured this is a great way for us to expand our fan base and our brand to fans from other sports,” says Michael Caruso, Blues’ svp, marketing and PR.

By forging a social connection with sports fans, LockerDome finds itself in the sweet spot of the digital revolution. The website boasts an average of 14 million unique visitors every month, with a 92 percent return rate by users. LockerDome says it expects to smash through to 25 million uniques by the end of this year. The site seems well on its way to that goal—its uniques doubled during February and March.

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