Tuesday, December 18, 2012

St. Louis Startup LockerDome Hits 4 Million Users, Preps for a Busy 2013

Two weeks ago, The St. Louis Business Journal reported that startup company LockerDome hit 3 million monthly unique users.

But there’s even more reason to celebrate today—another 1 million reasons to celebrate to be exact.

This week, LockerDome hit the 4 million monthly unique users mark.  The St. Louis-based startup grew its user base a whopping 5.6% on Sunday, December 8, 2012 alone.  The company saw more growth in that one day than it had in the first 12 weeks of launch. Fifteen times this year LockerDome has set a new single week growth record.  Each week, the startup’s user base grows about 14%.

LockerDome is a social media network for sports fans, professional athletes and even young athletes.  The social network allows for interaction, content production, posting and sports-related networking and connecting.  The platform allows its now 4 million plus users to create a profile for free, choose communities that interest them (over 1350 to choose from) and displays those interests in order to create connections.

“LockerDome is a place to interact with like-minded people who share the same sports interests that you do,” says LockerDome CEO Gabe Lozano.  “At first, we referred to it as Facebook for sports.  These days, however, LockerDome is all about consuming content and interacting in a manner that nurtures more relevant, deeper conversations about what you’re passionate about.”

What’s the secret sauce to LockerDome’s incredible growth?  According to both Gabe Lozano and LockerDome’s Director of Business Development, Mark Sanders, it takes a little bit of everything.  First and foremost, the platform incorporates a model that works seamlessly with the social media platforms we already use today, particularly Facebook and Twitter, while adding value in the places that those platforms don’t address particularly well.

“We figured out that we add an enormous amount of value to publishers, such as professional athletes and brands,” explains Lozano.  “Facebook doesn’t do everything on a social standpoint...especially for professional athletes and brands.  LockerDome fills the gaps.  It amplifies content and generates more followers and fans.”  In fact, professional athletes and brands utilizing the LockerDome platform have been noted to grow by 50% more Facebook fans and Twitter followers within just 4 and ½ months.

In addition to finding a niche-y need in the market, LockerDome utilizes contests in order to drive higher conversion rates.  The startup has seen immense success with their contests, with a 23% conversion rate.  The average rate of conversion for contests in the industry is around 2-3%.

Although 4 million users seems like a major reason to celebrate, both Lozano and Sanders believe that the startup has a long way to go.  On top of operating at a million miles per hour, the entire team at LockerDome is focused solely on “staying alive” and grabbing the opportunity while it’s still there.

“We’re taking things one day at a time,” says Sanders.  “We are happy to be in the situation we’re in right now.  What we do in 2013 depends on the users—we are going to build what they want.”

Many publications predict that LockerDome will quickly become one of the top 10 sports sites for online traffic behind (or perhaps in front of) competitors such as Bleacher Report.  All other top 10 sports websites are owned by major media or sports organizations.

“We believe firmly in the channelization of social.” states Lozano.  “There are times, especially in sports, when most people would rather communicate with like-minded people that share the same interests than merely with their friends. We are solving for that.”

Follow LockerDome! @LockerDome 

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