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Today, a good mate of mine (a Bath City supporter - but he can't help that!) showed me the final stages of a website that he's had built and which is currently being tested ready for launch this Summer.

It's a Football Prediction League website that will enable the supporters of any club to predict results/scores and compete with each other to show who knows their team the best - and I have to say, it looks really good (clear, crisp imagery etc). 

My mate admits that there's really nothing new here in principle as there's any number of such Prediction Leagues on all sorts of websites eg within supporters' forums (such as we have here on OTIB) and within various types of stand-alone websites (many gambling orientated).

He says that what will set his Prediction League website apart is that there's no gambling element and prizes will only be certificates but, and as I saw, the main difference is that the competition can be accessed easily and quickly by the players because there will be none of the usual, irritating static or moving adverts on the website.

As I said, the website and the competition presentation looks fab but this is where I think his idea is going to hit the rocks.

By not having adverts on the website, he's going to rely on a small entry fee (£2 or £3 per person a season) to cover the not inconsiderable costs (including licencing by the F.A. etc). I've told him that while he's still at the testing stage, he should build-in the facility to take-on paid advertising in case the entry-fee approach fails.

He's very reluctant to shell-out more dosh to the web designer/builder to create that facility (and to then spend time chasing advertisers) so I said I'd do a bit of market research on his behalf and this posting will hopefully get seen by a lot more people than one on a Bath City forum!!

Does anyone have a view on this sort of thing? Would appreciate any comments really.



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When most prediction leagues, like Sky Soccer 6 are free, and you can win cash (as well as the honour of beating your mates / celebs), charging something, even £2-3 per season is gonna take something special to work.  How many times do you nit bother to download an app because it costs £0.99.

Especially as a start-up....Sky has a huge backing, with the spin off that you will bet money with them through SkyBet.

What’s your mate’s marketing / business background....this appears to be his failing?  His software / website skills might be his USP, not his business acumen.

I’d ask him to imagine he was pitching to Dragon’s Den, and what kind of questions they’d fire back at him.

I’d also make sure if what he’s creating need patenting or what intellectual Property Rights he has / needs.  He might be better trying to sell his idea to someone who can promote it.

Sorry to sound a bit negative.

If he wants someone to undertake some user testing, or general feedback, happy to oblige.

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Sounds like a nice idea in principle especially if it works well and, as you allude, has a few unique features. As Dave suggests it may need more than just a few to take off. 

Like a lot of ideas that get re hashed and purport to be different, and better, people take a lot of convincing. And if that is likely the case asking for nominal cash amounts might hit a brick wall. 

Unless your friend can bear that cost and continue to do so until the site has stickiness and plenty of free signed up members he will have too much competition from what I imagine is non proprietary software. That or it will be copied. Limited sponsorship done in the right way is fine and expected. And when the site has literally thousands of members a careful plan for add on revenue can be implemented; sort of like level 2 membership while level 1 will always be free. 

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Many thanks for taking the time to respond. Much appreciated.

Davefevs: You hit the nail on the head. He's an I.T. geek who had a good idea and ploughed ahead without sensible consultation (to protect his idea!) which shows how little business acumen he has! Thanks for your offer to take a deck at it.

Spoons: I had to laugh when I read your comment because, when I read my posting after having posted it, I thought it came across a bit that way! Fortunately, it's not me!

Havanatopia/Cheshire_red: Very helpful and interesting observations. Thanks for those.

You've really all supported my own suspicions that charging an entry-fee isn't going to work (or be sustainable) and that getting advertising revenue is going to be very difficult.

I'll be relaying the nub of all this, as kindly as I can, to my friend over the weekend.

Many thanks again to you all.


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