SOURCE: Amplify Social

Amplify Social

March 06, 2012 09:15 ET

The Virtual Fan Network Launches VFN Golf With Fuzzy Zoeller, Nick Price and Blair O'Neal to Drive Engagement With Brands

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Mar 6, 2012) - Amplify Social's Virtual Fan Network today launched a VFN Golf division to extend to the world of golf its proprietary platform that enables professional athletes to monetize and amplify their digital presence. VFN Golf launches with iconic PGA TOUR champion Fuzzy Zoeller, World Golf Hall of Famer Nick Price, Big Break winner and model Blair O'Neal, and LPGA rising star Alison Walshe. Mike Galeski, formerly of Peter Jacobsen Sports and Callaway Golf, joins Amplify as Director to run the VFN Golf division.

Amplify Social launched in November 2011 with exclusive contracts for over 300 active athletes in major sports including MLB's Tim Lincecum, the NFL's Marcedes Lewis, Mike Wallace, Michael Turner and NFL legend Brett Favre, among others.

The Virtual Fan Network enables brands to work with athletes in digital advertising, including display social and mobile delivery. Brands with existing player endorsements -- and brands that have never before used sports marketing in campaigns -- can both benefit from VFN and produce more accountable, more efficient "media campaigns." The platform is being used by brands to drive a deeper level of engagement than any other online efforts they have made to date. Engagement rates for the first few campaigns run by the Virtual Fan Network have averaged more than 34%, and the associative value of working with athletes has carried over to brands.

Own Products tested The Virtual Fan Network earlier this year with good results. "We've seen some very interesting data so far from our association with athletes and our brand has benefitted from that in a way we never could have afforded previously," says Own Products GM of e-commerce, Chris Butler.

"So far we've proven the model that working with athletes on a CPM basis for short term, high impact campaigns works," says Amplify Social Co-founder and CMO Cory Treffiletti. "Golf is a natural area for us to expand into as fans can relate to golfers; they're real people. Those real people are a very effective marketing vehicle for brands, and golfers are familiar with our model."

"Golf continues to be a fast growing global sport with popular players and highly desirable fan demographics," says Mr. Galeski. "Our opportunity is enormous to get a foot hold in golf with personalities, both established and rising, like Fuzzy, Blair, and Allison. We are aiming very high and hope to have over 50 golfers signed up in the next few months."

Unlike other traditional sports-marketing solutions, the Virtual Fan Network allows brands to work with the biggest names in sports, but avoid long-term, high out-of-pocket endorsement deals. Brands can quickly and cost efficiently integrate their message into an athlete's social media presence -- and through an aggressively amplified presence of a syndicated, highly interactive, rich media network -- to reach a highly targeted audience.

Amplify Social ( is a San Francisco-based digital technology company specializing in providing social amplification solutions for brands through sports marketing. Founded in 2011, its first product is The Virtual Fan Network, which already boasts access to over 300+ athletes and a monthly reach of over 20 million unique users through established inventory partnerships.

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