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Social Media Portal interview with Peter McCormack at bantr.tv

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 13 September 2011

Profiled - bantr.tv - The football community and social network


An interview with Peter McCormack, CEO at bantr.tv on how niche social networks are the future


Social Media Portal (SMP): What is your role at bantr.tv?

bantr.tv logoPeter McCormack (PM): I'm Peter McCormack, CEO at bantr.tv. I do anything which isnít coding for Bantr from working with the team on feature development to marketing the site and working with the investors.


SMP: Briefly, tell us about bantr.tv, what is it and what does it do?


PM: Bantr.tv is a social network for football fans. It gives fans a collective voice in the important issues affecting their club from team selection to manager performance. Bantr.tv allows users to check-in to live games, vote on the action and banter with rivals.

SMP: What made you start bantr.tv (and when did you start it)?

PM: Bantr.tv came from a conversation with my business partner when we had discussed why Roy Hodgson had not lost his job last season at Liverpool. Fans were complaining on Twitter and he had little support but there was nowhere for fans to collectively express this view. Photograph of Peter McCormack, founder of footbal social networrk bantr.tv

SMP: What was the most challenging part of building the service?

PM: We have had two main challenges. Firstly working with the relevant football bodies to build the site. There is a lack of digital understanding within The FA and we canít do things like email fixtures to users yet these fixtures are all over social networks. Secondly we wanted to have the site ready for the start of the season, which was an immovable deadline.

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

PM: Our target audience is football fans everywhere.

SMP: How did you initially attract users to bantr.tv, and how do you do it now?

PM: Our main acquisition channels have been social networks. We have been identifying key football fans and opening a dialogue with them about what Bantr.tv is. We have then watched as these people talk about Bantr.tv to their networks of followers.

SMP: What are the low moments of what you have been doing so far?

PM: The only low point has been trying to build relationships with the press; we have found this quite difficult, as we are not PR people. We have tried personal emails to anyone who writes about our market with little traction. Still we understand that these journalists get contacted all the time and our time will come.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

PM: The biggest high was our first test match for the Charity Shield where United played City. We had over 200 people checked in to the match talking about the game and voting on the action.

SMP: Now that you are becoming established, what do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities?

PM: Developing the features we want quickly enough and ensuring the site works for the different numbers of users. The experience for 500 does not work for 5,000 and then the experience for 5,000 will need to change to support 50,000.

SMP: What are the next moves for bantr.tv?

PM: Our main objective is to expand to as many other European leagues as possible. We planned to launch for England only and Spain and Italy in the New Year but due to exceptional demand we have already added them.

SMP: Whatís the next big step for social media and networks?


PM: Niche networks. I believe that most general social networks have an arc, Friends Reunited had it, MySpace had it and even Facebook has it. The reason is that there networks appeal to emotional needs but the novelty eventually wears off. Niche networks add more value and I expect people to migrate to these but use the general networks as their passport around the net..

SMP: Whatís going to be the most interesting aspect regarding social media  technology throughout 2011 and what impact could this have for bantr.tv?

PM: The continued growth of mobile. Users now expect apps and users expect all sites to now work on all devices. We are working hard on the mobile Bantr.tv experience and expect this to help with our growth.

SMP: Best way to contact you?

PM: Email me on peter @ bantr.tv or Tweet me on @petermccormack.

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

PM: Just had a fry-up

SMP: Whatís the last good thing that you did for someone?

PM: Just completed an Olympic distance triathlon and raised over £6k for Ruby Lambert.

SMP: How many hours to you work a week?

PM:
About 75 hours

SMP: If you werenít running bantr.tv what would you be doing?

PM: I also run digital agency McCormack & Morrison so I would be spending more time on that.

SMP: When and where did you go on your last holiday?

PM: Not sure if it was a holiday but I went to Lithuania for a basketball match, before that I had a week in the south of France.

SMP: Whatís the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

PM: Read the football news.

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

PM: Errr x-ray vision ;)

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If you're interested in doing a Social Media Portal (SMP) interview, get in touch.

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