Is Thuuz a Sports Fan's Next Must Have?
On the night of May 29, I was sitting in my living room with my wife and told her she could watch The Housewives of DC that she needed to catch up on. But in the middle of the show, I saw the noise building on Twitter.
Roy Halladay was throwing a perfect game. It was in the seventh. Thanks to social media, I told the wife she had to cede the TV to me. I watched Halladay finish out the feat live.
Had Thuuz been around at the time I wouldn't have had to rely on Twitter to find out this information.
Thuuz is the brain child of venture capitalist Warren Packard, who sought to solve the problem of great game overload for today's sports fan.
So here's how it works. Sports fans log on to Thuuz.com and tell the company what leagues and teams they enjoy watching. When a game gets really good, fans will receive an e-mail or text telling them to turn on that game.
How does Thuuz objectively determine this information? Well, "Thuuz" is short for enthusiasm. The company has spent months developing algorithms for sports that automatically absorb the live play-by-play feeds to spit out an enthusiasm ranking of between 1-100.
"Every game starts at 50," Packard said. "And we're constantly updating the excitement rankings through the game. When it crosses the threshold that you set, you'll hear from us."
The algorithm takes into account the pace of the game, how close the game is and the novelty of the game. The latter is what would have tipped off Thuuz baseball fans that Halladay was throwing a perfect game.
Packard said a game gets really exciting when it hits an 85 excitement ranking. He estimates that about 25 NFL games will hit that mark this year.
Early adopters to the Thuuz concept who signed up for the general NFL alert, for example, received a message last week about the Jaguars vs. Texans game well before the hail mary at the end of the game.
"Users of the service, for example, might have been upset they didn't get an alert to Michael Vick's incredible performance last week against the Redskins. The excitement ranking wouldn't have been high enough to trigger an alert to most fans, Packard said, because the game was a blowout."
Warren said Thuuz will roll out excitement rankings for every sport once the algorythms are built. He says each equation takes about two months. He also said that the algorythms for each sport aren't set in stone.
Users of the service, for example, might have been upset they didn't get an alert to Michael Vick's incredible performance last week against the Redskins. The excitement ranking wouldn't have been high enough to trigger an alert to most fans, Packard said, because the game was a blowout.
Packard spent this week in New York finalizing the company's revenue model. Fans get the alerts for free, but cable providers and carriers who are beneficiaries of such alerts will pay. Details of that arrangement currently aren't clear, but if Thuuz leads a fan to sign up for the Center Ice or Sunday Ticket package, Thuuz will get a referral fee.
"We're doing a service to the service providers because we are getting them new customers," Packard said. "But we're also doing a value service to our users by getting them the content that they want to watch at that moment."
The concept is interesting and unique, but there are two markets that I think Thuuz has yet to develop that are a must have.
Fantasy players should be able to enter in their entire roster and gamblers should be able to enter in their bets. Games might not have excitement, but they might be meaningful to individuals who aren't necessarily fans of the teams playing.
Thuuz has completed its first round of funding and Packard said new investors, former athletes turned businessmen, will come aboard as investors next.
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