Social Audio Startup HearMeCheer Scores Season Contract With Premier League Team Wolverhampton Wanderers
The Wolverhampton Wanderers are making social audio a part of all their games this season. Social audio startup HearMeCheer will integrate its platform into the Premier League team’s website for the season after a successful pilot in May.
Premier Social Audio
Wolverhampton fans can participate in audio chats with other fans on the team’s website using the HearMeCheer widget embedded there ahead of their away game on Saturday against Watford F.C. Users enter their name and enter the shared virtual space. They can set up a private room with a code to share with those they wish to join them or enter one given to them by a host. To make the experience more like being at the game, HearMeCheer combines the audio streams from all of the rooms into an ambient background sound that mimics being in a crowd, with the cheers and yelling giving real-time reactions to the game. All of the audio streams are merged and fine-tuned to eliminate feedback on an individual basis.
“We’re delighted to become the first Premier League club to partner with Hear Me Cheer following a successful trial last season,” Wolverhampton’s head of digital Richard Pepper said. “We’re always on the lookout for innovative ways to engage with supporters, and this ticked all the boxes for us. We’ve made a bigger commitment to the audio content in recent months and Hear Me Cheer provides us with a great way to involve supporters on that journey.’
Sports and social audio are becoming popular partners. The NFL recently signed a deal with Twitter that incorporates the Twitter Spaces social audio platform for live audio content. Previously, the league worked with Clubhouse to promote this year’s draft. Clubhouse set up a digital venue for official NFL discussions, hosting rooms and a mock draft run by fans, although nothing specifically for the coaches and players to interact with participants. Clubhouse also served as the exclusive social audio partner for the National Hockey League ahead of the Stanley Cup this year.
Along with Wolverhampton, the startup counts the New York Red Bulls, a Major League Soccer team, and college football teams, including Ole Miss and Iowa State as clients. The company has provided the sound of fans for the teams to play in their stadiums and broadcasts when the COVID-19 pandemic limited the number of people allowed at games. HearMeCheer’s deal with Wolverhampton is a big milestone for the startup, however. The company hopes to leverage Wolverhapmton’s enthusiastic fanbase to help land deals with more soccer teams and a role in other events.
“They are a leader in fan engagement, and our integration of the HearMeCheer social audio “widget” is prominently featured on their website, which has millions of unique visitors each month. Full integration of HearMeCheer’s social audio technology into the Wolverhampton Wanderers website enables their fans to stay on the website,” HearMeCheer CEO Elias Andersen said. “It’s a more strategic approach for all 45 games this year with our increased capability and the ease of integration.”