Twitter, the micro blogging platform as it’s known, is fast becoming the source for breaking news stories. It is also a way for people to follow what’s happening in sporting fixtures, for example by following the hashtag (#) for a particular event. These give you an update on the highlights but aren’t really ‘commentary’ as such. To date I have not seen any actual live sports commentary on Twitter.

A post by Kevin Dunne had me think about this some time back and recently a comment by him on my blog prompted me to write this.

As Niall Harbison has pointed out before most entrepreneurs have several business ideas each day and see opportunities all around them.

So this is my offering to anyone who fancies making a few quid. I don’t think you’d get rich however and there is a bit of work involved in doing it and it is seasonal and out of office hours. So it may suit students during the evenings, weekends or holidays better. It can be replicated in any town in Ireland or indeed anywhere I’m sure.

What is it?

Basically it’s live tweeting of local matches or other sporting occasions. The ones that aren’t on TV or radio. Suppose your local team, or any local team for that matter, is playing a match somewhere. You go to the match and tweet the action as it happens. You don’t need to know the names of the players, people will be shouting them out for you. Some knowledge of the sport may be useful however….

How do you make money from it?

That’s an interesting question, I’m glad you asked. There are a number of ways to monetise your activities, but it does involve a bit of selling.

You could approach 1 or 2 of the pubs in each town to pay for the service. You or a friend would most likely have to set up a laptop connected to the TV with a broadband connection so the punters in the pub could follow the action. Most of the clientele or publicans won’t have a clue about Twitter so the whole novelty value here would be a crowd puller. It may not be a huge crowd but it would be better than an empty pub for the publican. They could also get some free publicity in the local media for being so innovative.

You could also sell advertising to various businesses in the towns which you could display through Twitpic. Using the Power Twitter add on to Firefox the pictures are displayed without having to click on the link. You can of course put up team photos, action shots and crowd photos to liven things up a bit as well. Lets face it, reading the match commentary does not make for riveting entertainment. But it does give the pub back to the customers who can talk away while keeping up to date with what’s happening. Although some clever tweeting could build up the suspense.

You’d have to decide which platform to use displaying the tweets, the web interface would need regular refreshing but as mentioned photos would be viewable. Twission could also be used if you set up a hashtag and if there were pubs in the rival towns the punters comments of each pub could also be displayed to each other adding to the overall fun.

How much to charge for advertising or using the service would of course be a major consideration. Most die hard sporting fans will be at the match so it will depend on how much extra business the publican is likely to receive. But as already mentioned if they contact their local radio/newspaper/magazine etc. and let them know what is happening, they could get several hundred euros worth of free publicity. Adrian Weckler tells you how to write a competent press release here

It could be a hard thing to sell though as you would most likely have to explain Twitter as well.

That’s just a local example of one opportunity with a limited market. Maybe you can come up with your own model that would appeal to a national or worldwide audience. Remember if you have a lot of people buying from you at a low price, it all adds up.

Not a get rich quick scheme, but it could help earn some extra cash for college, teach you how to sell, be a challenge and possibly be a springboard for even greater things. And maybe someone with a knowledge of building applications or better ways of doing this kind of thing can create the best way of doing it.

Don’t forget Setanta Sports started out beaming live GAA matches into pubs in the US and Australia.

Derry O Donnell Business, Publicity

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