Big Announcement: Community Capper Program
Perhaps the biggest event in Pregame.com history will be the launch of our new site in October. This effort has been literally 18 months in the making, and will be nothing short of a game-changer.
Community has always been a strong focus of my vision – with the forum being the center of activity. With the new site, the focus on community will take a quantum leap, including true facebook-like features, plus the powerful ability for any member to create a Group (with his own group blog, group forum, and group contests). Simply stated – any sports bettor who wants to connect with other sports bettors will have unparalleled tools to do so.
What recent forum activity has reinforced to me is that a certain percentage of people who make a substantial effort to grow a forum following are motivated by the opportunity to monetize that effort (i.e., make money). Outside sites have encouraged such endeavors – and Pregame has allowed these posters to provide the community some content in exchange for reasonable outside promotion in their signature.
What many of these posters have discovered is such an approach is less than ideal. Pregame people, for the most part, don’t want to go to some site they have no relationship with and buy picks . . . in addition, the posters struggle to balance their effort in the Pregame community with their effort to sell elsewhere.
After giving this much thought, I have a solution I am particularly excited about – one I believe will increase the amount of free community contribution while at the same time helping those who are willing to make the effort AND sacrifice to earn.
Announcing the Community Capper program . . .
Who is eligible to participate?
Community members with the biggest following
who encourage the Pregame.com mission of helping each other win
and are willing to INCREASE their commitment to providing value to the community
Said another way, the posters . . .
a) who want to give more to the community
b) who the community wants more from
Exactly who will get the opportunity?
My guess is many will be interested . . . and one key distinction to understand is that Pregame management will NOT be selecting the participants in this program – rather the community will (since the community dictates the size and quality of a poster’s following). Community history shows us that the size of a poster’s following has a lot to do with winning/quality content . . . but there are other factors, including the poster’s displayed character and disposition. Even though it’s impossible to know the deep-down truth of another person, the community has collectively done a good job of showing support to good people. And, if at any time a Community Capper shows himself to be other than a good person, he will be immediately removed from the program.
Another beauty of this approach is if a poster is disgruntled about not being included in the program, complaining to me won’t do any good . . . instead, they will need to step up their effort to grow their community following. This merit-based approach will likely have a motivating affect on many – fueling Pregame.com’s aggressive move in the direction of being even more community focused.
It will really be as simply as posters who want to give more to the community, and who the community wants more from.
What’s being sold?
This is where the program gets even more innovative . . .
Community Cappers will have the ability to offer a MAXIMUM of only one pick per day for sale. The rest will remain free.
Pricing on each day’s single pay pick:
Most will be only $5.
Games of the Week and Games of the Month $6
Each season, a capper can have seven “Special 7” picks – these will be sold for $7
This low pricing is especially exciting. There are a huge number of small-dollar sports bettors who would benefit from expert picks, but the modest amount they bet per game makes it hard to justify the typical industry pick prices. Quite simply, the Community Capper program will change that.
What exactly is this Increased Commitment?
Quite simply, it will be required that OVER 50% of the total content produced by a participant must be FREE. With the limit of one pick for sale each day, most participants will provide much more than half for free.
Idealist may say that 100% free is better than paying for anything, but getting >50% for free and having the choice to pay a modest amount for the rest is much better than a poster motivated by money simply leaving (resulting in the community getting nothing).
Those motivated by compensation will soon see that the more free content they produce, the better their single pay pick that day will sell. Such incentivization will, in many cases, drive the production of even more free content than before being accepted into the program.
This will NOT be for every extraordinary poster
On the surface, making money from doing what you love sounds appealing. But pick selling has more than a few pitfalls . . . including the scorn of some who lost money after buying your pick, in addition to the day in and day out demand of consistent effort. A poster with a big following can take off the weekend when his buddies are in town, or when there’s an important family event . . . but more will be expected from a Community Capper. For some it will be worth it – for others (the majority, I suspect), the satisfaction of contributing to the community (and the community’s appreciation of the effort) will allow for a more enjoyable experience. The contributor driven by only passion has always been highly valued by Pregame.com, and that will most certainly continue (and be even more the case with the tools offered by the new site)
Even among those who like the idea of selling, being a Community Capper will not be a good fit for many. For some, being limited to selling only one pick per day may not seem like smart business (I totally disagree, believing the community will support those who provide them with the most value) and others may question the low price (I again disagree, believing that this will reach an entirely new market of sports bettors who have never been able to benefit from pay picks). Our roster of Pros provide quality free content and pay picks which make sense for a certain market. The Community Cappers will serve a different market – allowing the two groups to work together rather than feel competitive.
This program will be truly unique. The restrictions and demands are substantial – requiring an exclusive commitment to the community. It’s been purposefully engineered to attract the type of contributor we seek, while repelling the type we don’t.
The Community Cappers will be totally independent. The only requirement (but it’s a big one) will be following Pregame’s pick selling rules (including the amount of free content, all being picks transparent, all streak promotions accurate, etc).
Importantly, your transaction will be with Pregame – and we will 100% Guarantee that it’s entirely safe, and that you receive EXCACTLY what you are promised. WE will take ultimate dollars & cents responsibility NO MATTER WHAT. With that trustworthy insurance, a customer is able to focus without worry on simply deciding which experts offer value on any given day.
Even at the bargain prices, Bulk Dollars, coupons, and Pregame Rewards will continue to offer even deeper discounts (since most “Special Promotions” we offer are for $10, they will not be applicable to shopping carts which total $10 or less).
No long term packages will be offered. Since participating in the program requires a high level of commitment to the community, there’s no way to be certain how long any capper will be participating (for this same reason there will be no contractual time commitment). At its core this program is beautiful in its simplicity – for as long as a selected poster contributes an extraordinary amount to the community, Pregame will provide the transaction platform allowing the poster to be compensated for his effort.
Launch . . .
I have thought about this idea for a long time, and I am quite excited about its potential. Tom Patterson’s experience with customer service provided important insight into my thinking. But, like any initial idea, it will benefit from feedback and tweaking. Feedback should start right here in this thread. Quite simply, tell me what you like about the program, and what could be improved. Once that process is complete, I will continue to be cautious (to make sure we correctly execute on this important program), starting with only two posters initially . . . allowing that beta experience to inform what tweaks the program will benefit from . . . from then on, additional Community Cappers will be added slowly – making sure that those added are extraordinary contributors who will provide even more to the community with the addition of a financial motivation.
I have not been quite this excited in a long time . . . . Tell me what do you think . . .