A while back, I wrote about Egraphs, a new way for fans to connect with their favorite sports players and receive both a personalized, digital autograph, but also an actual spoken message. It’s a very cool concept, and after six months of existence, Egraphs managed to collect an impressive stable of baseball players for its service. The biggest limitation? The fact that it was limited only to baseball.
Well, earlier this month, Egraphs published a press release to announce that they’d added a new sport to their digital offerings: NBA basketball. The company’s rolled out the new selection with over 70 NBA stars like the legendary Hakeem Olajuwon or current stars Jason Kidd and Tracy McGrady, so there are already plenty of players to choose from.
Egraphs’ CEO David Auld offered up a statement about the company’s expansion from the baseball diamond and onto the basketball court:
“The NBA and its players are recognized as leaders in social media and for connecting players with fans. Through our partnership with the NBA, we hope to develop a stronger relationship with basketball enthusiasts and bring them even closer to their favorite NBA athletes.”
To fill in some logistic information, Egraphs are bought via the company’s website, and fans fill out personal information and requests as they buy them. That information’s sent to the athletes, who receive notification of a new Egraph on their iPads. At that point, they record special voice messages to fans and can write personalized autographs at their leisure.
Sometimes the athletes even go above and beyond in terms of the messages they provide—take a look at another piece I’ve written about Egraphs for some good examples of the kind of fun that can be had. It’s a great way for fans and stars to connect without either party worrying about all the pressures that go along with autograph seeking. Fans don’t step on toes, and stars aren’t caught in less-than-favorable moments that could lead to unhappy memories. Everyone wins.
The press release offers up testimonials from the stars themselves, too. New York Knicks’ Steve Novak is enthusiastic about the possibilities Egraphs offers:
“Egraphs is an awesome way for me to connect with fans around the country. My favorite part is being able to record a fun voice message that is unique and personable.”
This is great news, because I firmly believe that Egraphs is a cool company with a solid idea behind it. It’s one of those head-slapper kind of concepts that makes you wish you’d thought of it first, and now that you know about it, you can’t wait to see where else it goes. For me, though, there’s still something I’m hoping for: FOOTBALL. This has been a pretty exciting year in the NFL, and I’d love the chance to get an Egraph from Adrian Peterson.
While I’m sure it’s not clear when exactly the addition of NFL players will happen, I’m reasonably sure that if the company continues to grow at this rate, we’ll be able to get autographs from the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Mike Ditka sooner than we think…