Fungo Launches ‘GameChanger’ App

Fungo Media, a New York-based startup, sees huge untapped potential in taking the pain out of keeping score of little league and high school baseball games.

The company has quietly rolled out GameChanger, a free iPhone application that is designed to help coaches, team managers and parents of athletes keep score and collect a robust amount of statistics without a pencil or paper. Unlike traditional baseball scoring, GameChanger allows anyone with a basic understanding of baseball to record nearly every pitch, hit and run with a tap of their finger.

The company anticipates the app will be used by hundreds of baseball teams across the U.S. this season, from the little league level to some colleges, include Amherst College in Massachusetts. Several schools in California are already using the tool in preseason games.

While the GameChanger app is free to use, Fungo plans to launch a $10- to $12-per-month subscription service that will enable parents, coaches and others to receive digital simulations of live games—much like fans are able to do with professional and college sports. “This is real-time game content for local sports,”said co-founder Ted Sullivan. “This is like ESPN Gamecast for little league.”

Sullivan, a former minor league baseball player turned Harvard Business School graduate, said that besides going after parents, he sees a large opportunity for Fungo to partner with newspaper Web sites and high school sports sites, such as MaxPreps, to provide live scoring—and save coaches the need to call in scores to the local paper.

To promote the new product, Fungo has reached out to multiple coaches associations, and it presented during last month’s American Baseball Coaches Association event in Dallas, during which GameChanger received a Best in Show award. Beyond baseball, Sullivan said that the company is planning to create applications for high school football and basketball.

Advertising-wise, Sullivan said the company may end up partnering with a local vendor. “I’d prefer to stay out of the ad sales business myself,” he said.

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