Everyone wants to reach the stars. When you watch the game, you see the amazing feats of athleticism and try to emulate it. It leaves you in awe and inspired to reach that special level. Sports is all about connection, and one new app is working to bridge the gap between the stars and the fans who love the game.
All around the world
On October 13, DAPS was launched and introduced to the public. Started by Jake Klores and Ryan Berger, the app works to directly connect fans to the athletes they enjoy watching. It built off the work they did together with Workhorse and the pair hopes to expand on that success in a major way. With DAPS, Klores and Berger plan to tap into the athlete-to-fan space to connect fans across continents and generations.
DAPS’ big selling point is the connectivity it provides between fans and the athletes. Berger expanded on their mission statement in a conversation with Nets Republic.
“People all over the world now will be able to connect with their favorite athletes. Whereas you’ve always had that, ‘oh, you can come to a game’ or an athlete can host an event, that’s blocked out by 99 percent of the world. Whereas you can’t travel for that, or can’t go to that. And then, internationally, DAPS offers a really interesting opportunity to connect with fans digitally, because you can really do anything you want over these phones today. But we have a menu of about 22 digital experiences today where fans can connect with athletes. And those can be connected all over the world in any marketplace.”
For fans, some of those experiences will include video calls, shooting form feedback, and watching a game live with the athletes. It allows for a more personalized touch and a sense of community as well. For young fans in particular, getting feedback and insight from a pro will help their games immensely. There’s something for every type of basketball fan and opportunities to explore new parts of the game.
Grow the game
When you look at the initial roster of DAPS partners, you see a crosstab of NBA and WNBA talent. Former Brooklyn Nets, Andre Drummond and Chris Chiozza, are among DAPS’ initial partners. Lexie Brown of the Los Angeles Sparks is a partner, along with Jonathan Kuminga of the Golden State Warriors and NBA legend and current University of Memphis head coach, Penny Hardaway. Along with those well known names, DAPS is also tapping in to a new, untapped market.
High school athletes have greater visibility thanks in large part to social media. It’s a natural evolution of the halcyon days of the high school mixtape era. With NIL, young athletes have a chance to cash in on their skills and expand their reach far and wide. Two of DAPS’ youngest partners are helping lead the charge for the next generation.
In New Jersey, Mia and Mya Pauldo are making waves. They have excelled at Morris Catholic High School and have drawn interest from colleges such as Seton Hall, Rutgers, and Ohio State. In September, the twins signed a NIL deal with PUMA.
In February of this year, Mia spoke to Luis Torres of NJ.com about the changing high school sports landscape. “I feel like right now we’re already trending, and our brand is already big. We’re trying to be big entrepreneurs and trying to make our own money off the things we do on and off the court, because our grades are good, and our game speaks for ourselves.”
DAPS joins groups like Xbox that have made big investments into women’s sports. These partnerships help grow the game and make it more inclusive. Women’s basketball is expanding everyday and creating new opportunities like this will encourage others to keep following suit.
Bigger than basketball
DAPS also works in tandem with the advocacy and activism of leagues like the WNBA. In recent years, athletes have been more deliberate about advocating for righteous causes such as gun safety and voting rights. Athletes have engaged in the issues of the day and have affected millions of people as a result. A portion of proceeds will go to Everytown and the Brittney Griner Advocacy Account. The sports world is all behind BG and pushing as hard as they can to help free her and get her home now. Lexie Brown spoke about that aspect of DAPS with Beyond the W.
“I think it’s huge that we are able to send proceeds to BG,” Brown said. “She needs us more than ever and even though we all don’t play the same sports or are in the same leagues, we are all connected in a very special way.
That community shines through with this component of their work. Having that direct connection to the athlete and having your money go to a good cause is appealing and something other outlets should aspire to. And as Berger noted, it makes for a more well rounded service and experience for all. As the game of basketball continues to grow, DAPS will ensure there is one more avenue for fans and players to come together.