Thursday, January 27, 2011

How a Mobile Gaming Startup is Turning Sports Spectators Into Players

While Thump CEO Chip Overstreet was watching the 2000 Rose Bowl with friends, he had an entirely normal conversation about what would happen next between the Wisconsin Badgers and Stanford Cardinal. At which point he was struck with a great idea. What if there was a game that allowed sports fans to compete with each other to most accurately predict the next play?

At the time, smartphones and tablets were science fiction, Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school, and the term “social game” suggested Trivial Pursuit.

Nine years later, Overstreet picked the idea back up and created Thump, a game that lives on iPhones, Android phones, BlackBerrys, Microsoft’s Slate tablet and Facebook. As sport fans watch a game, they can compete with a group of friends or strangers to be the most accurate predictor of what their teams will do next. The version for pro and college football launched in September. Baseball is planned to launch in March.

Mashable recently talked with Overstreet about how Thump aims to offer a game that is compelling to both players and advertisers.


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