Northwestern alumnus creates Fanatic app for sports fans


Source: Fanatic screenshot

Fanatic, an app for sports fans, allows users to find the most popular locations to watch their team’s games. Babak Poushanchi (Weinberg ‘98) created the app 10 months ago, and it already has more than 10,000 users.

Julian Gerez, Reporter

Many Northwestern fans have a familiar problem: They are outside of the Midwest, but the Wildcats are playing that day. They look for a place to watch the big game, but the sports grill they stumble across ends up being the opposing team’s favorite venue.

To solve that issue, Babak Poushanchi (Weinberg ’98) created Fanatic, an application that generates a list of locations where fans will be watching their favorite teams’ games. Ten months after its founding, Fanatic has more 10,000 users in more than 20 countries.

It is a sort of social network for fans to “follow your teams, find the best places to watch every big game and share the fan activity with your friends,” Poushanchi said. People can create their own events and invite friends, and the venues are ranked by popularity.

Poushanchi’s desire to create Fanatic stemmed from his own life. He grew up in the Chicago area, attending Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook. He currently lives in New York.

“In New York there was just a couple of us who used to go to this bar to watch Northwestern football,” Poushanchi said. “As the years went along, word of mouth increased. We’ve grown from that handful of people getting 260 or so people, and the games are insane there. We sing the fight song and the bartenders even serve purple shots.”

Poushanchi asked himself why technology that “would help fans of any type of sports affiliation find each other” did not exist. He created Fanatic in January.

The application is not limited to college athletics and has a growing roster of sports teams, ranging from hockey to soccer.

“Fanatic is awesome for me because it allows me to find Wildcat fans at home where there aren’t many,” said Carly Fox, a Weinberg freshman from Georgia.

Users earn points for their participation in Fanatic to compete with friends to see who the biggest fan is. The points are not redeemable for anything yet but are used for “digital gamification.”

Fanatic provides users with updates about their friends’ activities, as well as official news sources of the teams they follow. They can create a new Fanatic account or connect throug Facebook.

“Our focus is on the social component of watching sports,” Poushanchi said.

Fanatic is available for free for both iPhones and Android phones. 

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