Social Betting Plugin BetBoost Brings Social Engagement to Sports News

BetBoost, a social betting plugin created by CEO Brad Stroh, aims to take the fun of watching sports with your friends and bring it online. Founded by Stroh and developed by a team of gaming industry veterans, BetBoost has teamed up with Chat Sports to let users turn any article into a wager with friends.

Clicking the blue poker chip on any NFL article on Chat Sports opens the BetBoost plugin, which lets users create a bet or wager on an existing one. The close relationship between sports and betting made Chat Sports the perfect venue for the BetBoost beta (which launched in late October), and according to Stroh, the ability to engage around sports is what sparked the idea for BetBoost in the first place.

"The catalyst for Betboost was thinking about how fun it is to watch sports with your friends, and how not engaging it is to read content about them online." Stroh told us during a phone interview. "Twitter is amazing, the idea of real-time sharing of what’s on your mind. Facebook is good to explore what my friends or up to, but none of that has the engagement of going to a game or talking sports with your buddies. Betboost is a way to make content online really fun and really engaging, a way to make the consumption of internet content active and not passive."

From within the plugin, users can register with Facebook or Email, then immediately start betting on existing wagers or creating their own. Once a bet is made, users set a time frame for the bet and can invite friends to get involved.

No bet is off-limits, as long as there's a set time frame and a clear winner. "The Cowboys will beat the Giants on Thanksgiving" is fair game, but so are more creative bets like "Jacksonville's first-round draft pick will be a punter" or "Tony Romo will win the NFL MVP award this year".

Joining the fun is also a risk-free proposition - for now.

BetBoost's currency is imaginary coins - users start out with 200, and during the beta period they'll automatically get 500 more when they run out. Once BetBoost officially launches, refills will cost money - not much, according to Stroh - and eventually users will be able to spend BetBoost currency on real-world goods.

The BetBoost team has a wealth of experience in the startup sphere. In addition to Stroh, who's invested in several startups while advising and serving as a board member for others, the development and product teams all worked together at Digital Chocolate, an award-winning mobile gaming developer. Betboost's parternship with Chat Sports stems from the enthusiasm both companies have for making the consumption of content into an active experience that brings people together.

"Chat Sports shares that same ethos of deeply passionate sports fans sharing information in a deeply engaging way... The ways [they] make news, content, and sports more fun beats the heck out of going to any other boring sports site," Stroh said. "We're very psyched to be working with [Chat Sports CEO] James and the whole team."

The beta period will help Stroh determine BetBoost's next steps. While the plugin can currently be found on certain Chat Sports articles, it won't be long before it starts showing up everywhere.

"We’d like it to be plugged in to every single social sharing widget - just like you’re sharing a post on Pinterest or Facebook," Stroh said. "I’d also love a world where people are going to BetBoost and they’re using the native app, they’re creating their own bets...we want to launch a website where people can go and bet on anything. We want this to be a catalyst to get people off the sidelines and get them involved."

Want to try out BetBoost for yourself? Check out an article on any NFL team's page and flip the chip and get started. See it in action on the 49ers team page.

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