Derek Jeter Has Accepted Your Friend Request

Want to be friends with Derek Jeter? Lebron James?Peyton Manning? Well now you can… thanks to the latest social networking website weplay.com. It’s currently in its testing stage, and will launch somewhere in mid-April. Weplay is a social site created by the Creative Artists Agency (C.A.A.). From The New York Times:

“The idea originated at C.A.A., which about 20 months ago began a sports division and whose agents have been trying to find ways beyond the traditional endorsement deal to increase an athlete’s earning potential, by starting companies in which the players can be owners.”

Weplay.com revolves around youth sports, but does not limit who can join. You can sign up as an athlete, a parent, a coach/official, or just a fan. Athletes can build profiles, coaches can communicate with their teams, and parents can share videos of their kids’ games. There’s already a video of Lebron in his early high school days, although in his case it actually wasn’t too long ago.

The obvious difference between this and the giants such as Facebook or Myspace, is that it’s for a very specific type of person, i.e. everyone is either a young athlete or is directly connected to one. With Facebook or Myspace, anyone is allowed to join, making targeted advertising more complicated. At Weplay, advertisers know exactly who is viewing their ads. It would be perfect for the advertisers such as Nike, Gatorade, Under Armour, or even something like the “gotmilk?” campaign. What’s great is the athlete supporters aren’t just the face of the Weplay, but they are fully integrated into the social network just as anyone else would be.

Hopefully Weplay will keep the interface simple, fun, and include truly useful functions. No poking, and certainly NO SUPERPOKING. That would warrant a technical foul.