Vancouver-based Shnarped Hockey is launching a new feature on its app today. The Launch Academy-bred startup's mobile app now boasts a feature that allows fans to connect directly with professional, NHL-level hockey players—no middlemen involved.
"In a word, Shnarped is access," the Canadian company explains. "This brand new, interactive application gives fans unprecedented connection to pro players through one simple dashboard. You will virtually be behind the scenes: in the room, on the bench, or flying around with the team."
The app already has 30 NHL players across 13 different teams using the app, plus more than 100 other professional hockey players.
Fans and pros communicate with each other through "pounds." Shnarped explains:
When a player does something awesome, what happens on the ice or bench? Teammates, coaches and training staff give them a pound or tap on the shin pads plus few good words. Shnarped lets you do the exact same thing. The unique Pound feature lets you dole out fist bumps as if you’re on the team. Plus, you can post your encouraging words on the player’s wall for him to see.
And that's where it gets cool: verified pros can pound you back, even writing you a personal note. You can also check out their player stalls, which are like a Facebook-esque profile for that pro. And in addition to the connection between players and fans, the app offers a robust database of player stats, bios, Twitter feeds, and more across several hockey leagues.
It's an app that's been recently endorsed by big names, including ESPN analyst John Buccigross—he tweeted bluntly that "if you are a hockey fan you have to get the App called Shnarped"—and NHL pros like Blake Geofrrion, who said the app is a "pretty cool way to interact with your favorite players."
Shnarped was founded by Dustin Sproat, who began his career as an engineer before his passion for hockey turned him into an entrepreneur; Kamil Sikorski, a software engineer; and Kyle Hagel, a professional hockey player in the AHL.