Fan inc. is a revolutionary platform in the sports tech and fintech arena, helping college athletes connect with their fans. With recent changes in the law, college athletes can now make money from selling their name, image, and likeness (“NIL”). To date, the new NIL rules have only benefited a select few, top-tier athletes. Fan inc. saw the opportunity to democratize access to these new rules and turned to Uptech Studio to help build and launch a platform so all college athletes earn money directly from their fans, while providing a financial platform geared towards their particular needs and goals, focused on financial responsibility and literacy.
The primary challenge was creating a seamless and intuitive platform that supported 3 distinct user groups:
- College Athletes. Athletes need more than just a simple app. Fan inc. needed to provide a complete financial platform (a debit card, a way to accept NIL payments directly from fans, ability transfer money in/out from other accounts, financial education), compliance tools (to meet NIL reporting requirements and meet tax obligations by setting aside and automatically filing quarterly estimated taxes), and social media tools to help athletes engage with their fans.
- Sports Fans. Fans need a way to find and send money to their favorite college athletes, get digital trading cards in return, and stay up to date on how the athletes they support are doing.
- Internal Admins. Fan inc. needed a comprehensive tool to administer the program: approve athletes to meet KYC requirements (both for the banking product and to handle athlete eligibility), editorial tools to manage user-generated content (photos, bios, etc.), reporting and administrative tools to manage core banking functions.
Uptech Studio’s Approach
Rather than a strict phased approach, the Uptech Studio team partnered closely with Fan inc. in an ongoing iterative process.
Ideation and Planning
- Product Manager: Led the project, ensuring that the vision for Fan inc. was clearly defined and communicated across the team. Conducted market research to understand user needs and industry trends.
- User Experience Designer: Developed wireframes and user flow diagrams to visualize the user journey. Produced high-fidelity mockups and prototypes. Conducted usability tests to refine the designs.
- Frontend Development (Flutter): Focused on creating an engaging and responsive interface. Ensured cross-platform compatibility for both mobile and web applications.
- Backend Development (Node.js): Implemented robust and scalable server-side logic. Integrated secure payment gateways and ensured data privacy and security compliance.
- Developers: Worked in agile sprints, regularly updating the product based on feedback and testing results.
Launch, Test, Rinse, Repeat
- Conducted beta testing with a small set of users.
- Iteratively refined the platform based on user feedback and analytics.
- Returned to ideation, planning, and development
Fan inc. successfully launched, receiving positive feedback for its user-friendly interface and the impactful concept of connecting athletes with their fans. The platform has seen a steady increase in user engagement, and the educational component has been well-received, contributing positively to the financial literacy of young athletes.
Uptech Studio’s expertise in mobile and web application design and development was instrumental in bringing the vision of Fan inc. to life. The collaborative approach, combining technical prowess with user-centric design, resulted in a platform that not only meets but exceeds user expectations in terms of functionality and impact.