Sidelines Is The Sports Social Network

Do you like Facebook? Yes? How about Twitter? Yup, thought so. Are you a rabid sports junkie?  Sure am. Well, since you like Facebook and Twitter, and you’re a huge sports nut you’re going to love how Sidelines combines social networking and sports.

Sidelines co-founders Marios Assiotis and Arka Ray, two huge sports nuts, left their jobs as managers at Microsoft to begin working on Sidelines. Initially, the site was a content hub intended to solve the problem of having too many sources for sports news out on the web. After launching in August 2012, however, they quickly realized that they were more interested in the conversation.

“The reason we created Sidelines is to get sports fans together to talk about their favorite teams”, Assiotis told Chat Sports in a phone interview.

So what is Sidelines exactly? Let me put it in terms I think my grandparents may understand. Sidelines is a social network for sports fans that lets users share sports related opinions and whatever else they’d like to with their friends and other fans.

“We want Sidelines to be the best place online for fans to talk sports”, co-founder Arka Ray said.

To sign up for Sidelines, just visit Once you’re there, you can login with either your Facebook or Twitter account. If you happen to be living in the Stone Age and you don’t have a Facebook or a Twitter, don’t worry. You can sign up using your email address as well.

Once you’ve logged in, you can start posting your thoughts on whatever you’d like. You can title your post, type as much as you’d like, and can post it into either the NFL community or the NCAA Football community. For now, Sidelines only has those two communities, but is looking to add to that in the near future.

I personally love Sidelines. It’s really hard to reach the broader sports community and have high quality conversations, which is why Assiotis and Ray believe Sidelines will be successful. It allows sports fans to have high quality conversations within their team community.

What is so great about Sidelines anyways? I’m glad you asked my dear readers. Sidelines is very useful as it gets sports fans connected through the broader community. “To make a real world analogy, when you find yourself at a sports bar watching your team play, those people there are your friends at that time, it’s your community, it’s your people, you’re all sharing this common passion”, Assiotis said. “We want to capture that real life feeling, that vibe of people connected through their favorite sport and their favorite team, and we want to transfer it online.”

At this point in time, the trio of Assiotis, Ray, and co-founder Vinay Kuruvila have not raised funding. The Sidelines team is currently bootstrapping, and they don’t have any intentions of raising funding for a while, as they believe it will take focus away from the product.

Assiotis and Ray say they have many “techie” friends who help provide them with constructive feedback. Before an update is done, Assiotis says that they will sit with people and do what they call ‘user ability studies’. “By user ability studies, we mean we just look over their shoulder at the user’s side and have them continuously tell us what they’re doing, why they’re confused, and any other speaking points they may have.”, Assiotis said. Users also have feature requests very often. The top thing they want, of course, is more sports added to the site. But slow down, they aren’t quite there yet. Right now, Assiotis and Ray say they are focused on making the best product they possibly can, and while they won’t get to every sport, they will eventually add many more in the future.

Despite their pride in the polished product they’ve put out, Ray says that they spent more time polishing the product than they should have. “If we had launched the product earlier”, he said, “we would’ve gotten the user feedback that we did, and we would’ve made the decision to change the product earlier.”

So what’s next for Sidelines? Well according to Assiotis and Ray, the next step for them is simple. They plan on releasing a new version of the site where the communities are more social than they are right now. When that will be, they don’t exactly know for sure, but they did say that it would be very soon.


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