West Harrison residents Francesco Vittorini (left) and Nick Spano had one simple goal when starting their company: to “take all the passionate sports fans and get them talking and vibe-ing in one place.” From there, they created uSTADIUM, an increasingly popular iPhone app, website, and social-media brand for football fans. With 25,000 downloads and more than three million posts from fans throughout the country since 2014, uSTADIUM is a place where fans can talk football 24/7, posting opinions, reactions, and news.
“Think of it like a Reddit meets Twitter,” they say. And with a to-date total of nine “live” events in New York City, featuring more than 30 NFL players, uSTADIUM bridges the gap between everyday fans and their favorite players, with the likes of Victor Cruz, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Khalil Mack in attendance. The in-person gatherings always coincide with a football event—like the NFL Draft or Super Bowl—where fans can come together and eat/drink/party while watching. “We wanted to take the relationships fans were making online and bring them to reality. Messaging someone online about football is cool, but doing it in person is so much cooler,” say Spano, the company’s CMO, and CEO Vittorini. So far, uSTADIUM is exclusively targeting football fans, but Spano and Vittorini plan to expand to include all sports.
• uSTADIUM recently added a feature that enables users to “spice things up in the Fantasy Football world by providing all Fantasy Football players on uSTADIUM with their own exclusive chat feeds, to discuss lineups and smack talk,” says Vittorini.
• uSTADIUM has some ex-players as investors and advisors, including Corey Mays and Marques Colston, and raised $100,000 from angel investors last summer.
• Spano and Vittorini have also incorporated charitable fundraising into their business plan, raising more than $30,000 for nonprofits, including the Eric & Jessie Decker Foundation, Santonio Holmes’ III & Long Foundation for Sickle Cell and Muhammad Wilkerson’s Team 96 Foundation.