SayNow, a calling system primarily used by pop musicians to interact with their fans through voice mail messages, is adding athletes to its roster of celebrities. The free service creates voice mail numbers and makes them available on its Web site for fans to call and leave messages for SayNow’s celebrity clients. Messages are uploaded to the site, where other fans and the intended recipient can listen and respond with messages of their own, using an old technology to create a new kind of social network. “The phone number is almost retro,” said SayNow Senior Dir of Business Development Brian Mandler. The service launched in January '07 with pop music acts such as the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, paying them a share of revenue based on dollars generated by click-through concert ticket sales and paid fan clubs. Subscribers have grown to 4.4 million in total. SayNow’s most recent athlete client is female golfer Anna Rawson, a 27-year-old native of Australia. The part-time fashion model was named one of the 10 most beautiful female athletes by Sports Illustrated. “We are still assessing the true value of athletes, but Anna is a perfect example of an athlete that has traction outside her sport,” said Mandler. “We are potentially looking at people that have targeted followings, like action sport athletes.” Other athletes on SayNow include Ravens LB Ray Lewis, Jets OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson.
By Jon Show, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal